Ten Indonesian students and one Indonesian school received awards in "the 2019 Lidice children fine art competition” from the Czech Republic government. The awards were given by the Czech Republic Ambassador to Indonesia Ivan Hotek, Thursday (14/02/2019) at the residence of the Ambassador of Czech Republic in Jakarta. More than 20,000 art works by children from 79 countries were entered in the competition this year. From Indonesia, out of 336 entries that took part, only one student received The Medal whereas nine other received the Honorable Mention. The Medal was awarded to Kennard Alvaro Hadinata, the student of Nirvana Visual School, Surabaya,  East Java.

“So, as I said, this competition was created to commemorate victims of the second world war in the Czech village Lidice. And, to commemorate to all of us that usually during each conflict, the most suffering people are ladies and children. And, that is why we have to do everything in this modern world to prevent conflict. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian, if you are Muslim or if you are Budist. In the end, everyone suffers the same,” said Ivan Hotek.

In addition to ten Indonesian children receiving the awards from the competition,  one Indonesian school,  Fajar Hidayah Islamic school was awarded a plaque of acknowledgement for their work in helping educate orphaned children. The ambassador asked all participants to re-enter the competition next year and encourage their class-mates to do the same. (VOI/LISA/AHM)


Halal Tourism Will Grow in the Future

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Halal tourism is now becoming a mega trend and is projected to develop in the future. The target of 20 million tourist visits to Indonesia is one of the triggers for the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism to improve halal tourism facilities. Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Indonesia Muslim Travel Index 2019 at the Ministry of Tourism Jakarta, Wednesday, February 13, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said, the number of world Muslim tourists who visited Indonesia in 2018 was 20 percent of all tourists who came to Indonesia. The ministry has also made some assessments on the halal destinations in Indonesia.

“With 14 aspects, smaller aspects, number one is access. ACES stands for access, communication, environment and services. I let you know the trick first if you want to win the competition. The percentage is different. The big one is services (45). We repair the large percentage. From there I may say, 90 percent is not directly related to sharia, all of them are general in nature. So I dare say who can provide the best service, he will win the competition. Only a small percentage of them have sharia,” said Arief Yahya.

The Ministry of Tourism believes that the strength of halal tourism in Indonesia lies in the readiness of the destination to be the destination of visits by global Muslim tourists. Tourism destinations must be able to meet the needs of Muslim tourists while traveling. (VOI/NK/AHM)


The 20% lift in Indonesia’s tourism sector has been thanks big increase in Halal travelers. It was stated by Fazal Bahardeen, CEO and founder of Halal Trip website at the launch of Indonesia Muslim Travel Index 2019 in Jakarta on Wednesday (13/02/2019).  He said Indonesia is the second fastest growing market in the ASEAN region, experiencing growth at three times the global rate. This has been largely due to an increase of Muslim travelers. Dr. Arief Yahya, the Indonesian Minister for Tourism, remarked on the importance of Halal tourism for the broader Indonesian tourism market. The Halal tourism industry is expected to become a 300 billion dollar industry by 2026. He said some of this success is thanks to Muslim women becoming more influential as are getting better access to education and have greater means to travel.

The growth of the halal tourism is the growth of the whole tourism in Indonesia. It’s around 20%. That’s why our plan is from 20% to become 25% of all inbound traveler to Indonesia is coming from the Halal tourism. 25% means is around 5 million,” said Arief Yahya.

Indonesia took out many awards at the 2016 World Halal Travel Awards in the United Arab Emirates. These included Garuda taking home the award for the best airline for Halal travelers and Aceh winning the best culinary destination for Halal travelers. (VOI/LISA/AHM)


In a press briefing at the residence of Russian Ambassador in Jakarta, Wednesday (13/02), Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Ms Lyudmila Vorobieva outlined preparations to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Russia.

“Yes, we are working on a program, or a list of activities that we conduct to celebrate the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations. We are in a close contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are thinking of organising some culturally events. I know that the Indonesian embassy in Moscow will have even a bigger festival next year. Maybe, we will have have some exhibitions, performances, hopefully we’ll also have some Russian artists come to Jakarta,” said Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Ms Lyudmila Vorobieva.

Ms. Lyudmila added that she had recently returned from Surabaya for National Press Day and had been impressed by the well-preserved exhibit of a Russian submarine used by the Indonesian navy in the 1960s and was eager for some anniversary celebrations to be located near this monument. (VOI/STEPHEN/AHM)

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