Over 60 cities team up to boost tourism and creative in Indonesia
The government is establishing a network of over 60 cities with high creative-industry potential so that they can work together to boost productivity and attract tourism to their respective regions.
The network will see exchanges of ideas and cooperation between the cities, which include established names such as Bandung in West Java and Yogyakarta, as well as emerging cities such as Gorontalo, North Sulawesi and Medan, North Sumatra, in creating a productive ecosystem for the creative industry.
This is expected to boost cultural-based tourism, which includes products of the creative industry, as the country’s biggest tourist attraction, according to a survey conducted by the Tourism Ministry.
“The creative cities network will boost tourism, as 60 percent of foreign tourists come to places in Indonesia based on creative-related interests,” Tourism Minister ArifYahya told the press on Monday.
Arief said the government aimed to build creative camps and centers where artists could exchange ideas and produce their work, creating an ecosystem to boost the creative industry in the cities that are part of the network.
He also expected the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) to facilitate the commercialization of the creative products from the cities.
The creative economy contributes around 7 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), amounting to around Rp 700 trillion (US$48.4 billion).
The government is focusing on the sector, which is seen as having a lot of potential to grow, amid the difficult global economic conditions that have seen commodity prices slump putting pressure on the nation’s exports.
“All of the cities of Indonesia already have their own uniqueness that will attract tourists when developed […] The tourism sector heavily relies on the creative economy,” he added, citing culinary, fashion, crafts, publishing and design as the top five sectors of the nation’s creative industry.
The network will be established during the Indonesia Creative Cities Conference (ICCC), which will be held in late October for the first time in Surakarta, Central Java, one of the established creative cities.
ICCC head Irfan Sutikno said that with the network, the cities could cooperate in a more “constructive” way. The conference is also expected to yield operational standards for the principal concepts of creative cities, which include upholding residents’ creativity as well as maintaining the city’s history.
He said the conference would also define the indicators for a creative city, which had not been formally established before.
“After this, we expect to see meetings that are more tactical between cities,” he said, citing examples such as free billboard promotion of cities that cooperate with each other.
The previous administration established cities such as Bandung Yogyakarta, and Surakarta, long noted for their unique arts and cultural products, as creative cities to be developed.