TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) demanded the government evaluate four tourism-based Special Economic Zones (SEZ) before designing new areas given the fact of the sluggish development progress of the existing zones.
“It is better to conduct evaluation first on the causes before setting new tourism-based SEZ,” said the PHRI head who is also the Visit Wonderful Indonesia head, Hariyadi Sukamdi, on Friday, April 5.
Hariyadi conveyed his worries that if the government taps a new zone without evaluating current zones, the goal of tourism-based SEZ to attract tourists, especially foreign ones, will not be optimal. “And [the government] must also evaluate the investment sector, for example, on why we lack investors.”
Earlier, Coordinating Minister for Economy Darmin Nasution announced that the government set four special economic zones, namely Mandalika in Lombok, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung, and Morotai in North Maluku.
Darmin explained that there are 12 SEZs; eight of them are manufacture-based. The zones that are already in operation are Sei Mangkei, Tanjung Lesung, Palu, Mandalika, Galang Batang, and Arun Lhokseumawe.
The Indonesian Tourism Scholars Association (ICPI) Azril Azahari seconded Hariyadi’s statement. He opined that not all Indonesian regions could be designated as tourism-based SEZs because each area has its own character.