Indonesia should strategize new coastal tourism development destinations

Indonesia should strategize new coastal tourism development destinations

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Earlier we reported that Indonesia plans to diversify tourism out of Bali and into lesser developed areas of the country.

This is not surprising given the country’s tourism is really centered around Bali. This snapshot from Google Trends clearly shows how Bali outranks every other tourism destination in Indonesia.

indonesia tourism resort development comparison 2012


Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy promoted several new coastal tourism development locations during the Indonesia Tourism Investment Day 2012 held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta recently. Again at the upcoming Hospitality Investment World Indonesia 2013 the Ministry will be pushing similar locations. There are at least 9 emerging destinations spread over the country.

Indonesia Coastal Tourism Development Locations

  1. Wakatobi, Sulewesi
  2. Tanjung Lesung, East Java near Jakarta
  3. Mandalika Resort, Lombok
  4. Lagoi Bay, Bintan Island (near Singapore)
  5. Belitung Island, off South Sumatra
  6. Bugam Raya, Central Kalimantan
  7. Pulau Weh, off Northern Sumatra
  8. Teluk Mekaki, Lombok
  9. Grand Kawanua, Manado


Click on red market for location name.


Should Efforts be Focused?

However, with so many possible locations should there be a more strategic approach and focus?

For countries with extensive coastlines like Indonesia and Philippines it makes a lot of sense to manage coastal development. Rather than diluting efforts paying attention to fewer locations brings better long term dividends. See our discussion here on Comparing Demand and Supply of Asia’s Tourism Coastlines for more.

Look at Thailand, how many main coastal tourism location do they have? Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Krabi, Huahin. And rankings are relatively more balanced and not as skewed as for Indonesia (see chart below).

What Indonesia needs to consider seriously is a few locations that can scale up significantly. Why stretch yourself too thin over so many destinations? Global tourism branding likewise benefits from more focus.

Thailand Coastal Tourism Destinations


Some Destination Development Criteria

Ideally, destination selection criteria should include:

  • Existing international accessibility
  • Land mass with capacity to scale
  • Sufficient water resource
  • Not near environmentally sensitive areas


Some Possibilities

Forgot the outliers for now and consider focusing efforts on these three possible destinations:

  • Bintan – Why? Existing global access through Singapore, sufficient water supply, no environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Lombok – Why? Widely recognized as Bali’s other half, existing international accessibility.
  • Tanjung Lesung – Why? Access to growing local tourism market being near Jakarta.


What do you think?

Should Indonesia focus on developing a smaller number of new destinations?

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If the approach is to focus coastal tourism development where do you think it should be? (choose up to 3 answers)

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