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OpenGov speaks to Mr. Ahman Sya, Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia

Traveling through Wonderful Indonesia with the help of IoT

There are many projects that the Indonesian government is trying to promote relating to technology advancement. Some of the most impactful successes have come from Smart City initiatives across the country. The way that technology is integrated into the daily lives of citizens, and tourists in this case, is making great change.

OpenGov spoke with Mr. Ahman Sya, Minister of Institutional Development, the Ministry of Tourism to find out how they are approaching a journey towards smarter tourism and greater intake of foreigners.

Indonesia has 17,508 islands with 525 ethnic groups and 300 native languages. It is a vast, diverse, and rich country with rising appeal to tourists. It is also the only country in the world that has so much water between its islands creating a massive problem to deliver high speed network to all areas of the country.

Mr. Sya had numbers on his finger tips and spoke with a lot of passion. “In 2014 we had 9.4 million tourists.” From this, about 40 percent of tourists visited Bali, 30 percent went to Jakarta, and 15 percent to Bahtam. But the tourists coming to Jakarta are not just tourists, but real business people. They are coming in and stimulating the economy for the future.

Mr. Ahman Sya is aiming for tourism to exceed 20 million by the year 2019. Saying that, he is doing everything in his power to reach that number before.

President Joko Widodo recently entitled citizens from 75 countries the ability to travel to Indonesia visa free. Citizens from 90 countries can now travel to Indonesia, visa free. The Ministry aims to add more to that list. They are looking for this number to go up to 120 countries by the end of the year.

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To attract this influx of tourism, Mr. Ahman Sya says “We will use "POS" Media strategy. A term they have coined. This stands for Paid, Own and Social Media. Using all 3 available platforms, Indonesia will focus on getting coverage of tourism promotion in all countries throughout the world. This is all thanks to social media and its cost effective methods to reach audiences beyond certain physical limits.”

In order to analyse where tourists are coming from, the Ministry uses a "DOT" strategy. This stands for Destination Origination and Time. Mr. Ahman Sya says, “If tourists come to our country, we ask to where they are heading to, and from where they are coming from. The majority of Chinese tourists are seen to be heading to Bali. “ Knowing where tourists are coming from, allows the tourism industry to cater to their needs and interests.

With even more modern tourism behaviour, the industry demands service virtualisation. To meet this demand, the Ministry of Tourism has
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created an app named “Wonderful Indonesia”. This app helps explore the islands, creating an informative digital platform. Throughthis platform, tourists may explore Indonesia in an easy and accessible format. 

A great tourism drive has also redirected attention to the country's airports. This is why the Ministry is looking to improve the capacity of more than 20 airports, in order to meet this tourism demand. Furthermore facial recognition will be needed. Which means a significant requirements of cameras, storage, security and analysis. "We will also need cameras on our streets to keep the visitors safe" said Mr.Sya.

To implement greater and efficient services, it is said that Indonesia may be considering automated customs systems in the next coming year. These smart solutions will serve Indonesia’s growing tourism popularity and further develop the industry.  

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