INTERVIEW: Indonesia wants to collaborate with Egypt to develop joint tourism programmes: Indonesia‘s tourism minister

Amr Yehia in Jakarta , Saturday 2 Mar 2024

Speaking to Ahram Online in Jakarta, Indonesian Minister of Tourism Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said that Egypt is a country with splendorous historical sites, adding that 15,000 Egyptian tourists visited Indonesia in 2023.

Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno Indonesian Minister of Tourism


Ahram Online: How can the two countries work to increase cooperation?

Sandiaga: We had a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation between the Government of Indonesia and the Government of Egypt, which aims to promote the healthy growth of both countries' tourism industries and increase tourist arrivals from global tourist markets to/through both countries.

This MoU was first signed in 1994, and both sides will work to expand tourism collaboration in research and development; education and training … etc. 

However, this MoU needs to be renewed, so that both governments collaborate to develop our tourism sector.

 AO: Are there any exchange tourism programmes between our two countries?

Sandiaga: While there are not any formal government exchange tourism programs between Indonesia and Egypt, there are several initiatives and opportunities that promote cultural exchange and tourism between the two countries such as cultural exchange events and several familiarization trips of travel agents/tour operators and travel bloggers to Indonesia in collaboration with the Indonesian embassy in Cairo.

We also have 12,000 Indonesian students who study in Egyptian universities, we believe that through this we can make a soft promotion for our tourism and cultural diversity amongst students in Egypt.

AO: From your point of view, what are the obstacles to increasing tourism cooperation and how can we overcome them?

Sandiaga: Obstacles are geographical distance and travel costs. Long, expensive flights can discourage tourism between the two countries. But now, EgyptAir flies directly from Cairo to Jakarta twice a week.

Also, [another obstacle is] lack of awareness and marketing. We overcome that through more targeted marketing campaigns and tourism exchange programmes. Also, Visa processes can be complex and costly. We work on promoting visa-on-arrival and highlighting e-visa programs.

[The two countries offer] different tourism product types. Indonesia focuses on nature, beaches, and cultural experiences, while Egypt focuses on historical sites and archaeological wonders. In this regard, we collaborate with travel agencies to promote joint tourism packages.

AO: What is the rank of Indonesia on the world tourism map? What distinguishes it?

Sandiaga: Indonesia was ranked 32nd out of 117 countries in travel and tourism in 2021. Bali is ranked first as the best honeymoon destination in the world in 2024 and ranked second among the top destinations in the world in 2024. Lombok is ranked fifth among the best nature destinations in the world in 2024. Indonesia was ranked first among the most beautiful countries in the world in 2022; as well as first as the world’s most naturally beautiful country. Indonesia is ranked sixth among countries with the best cuisines.

Also, Indonesia is ranked first as the top Muslim-friendly destination of the year.

We are distinguished by our exceptional diversity, From stunning beaches and lush rainforests to volcanic mountains and ancient temples, as well as rich cultural heritage: With diverse ethnic groups and traditions, Warm hospitality is renowned for its friendly and welcoming people.

AO: Can you highlight the super five destination priorities in Indonesia's Tourism outlook?

Sandiaga: We offer five super-priority destinations. These stunning destinations are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Likupang in North Sulawesi.

These five gems of wonderful Indonesia offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, magnificent scenery, and many more adventures in the realm of Indonesia.


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