Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno is optimistic that tourism in ASEAN would continue to grow through support from improvement of human resources and MSMEs to be able to face global economic challenges.
The growth in international tourist visits in 2022 reflects strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, he remarked while opening the 26th Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers-ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2023 here Saturday.
According to Uno, the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows that 900 million more tourists had undertaken international travel in 2022, thereby indicating a two-fold increase as compared to that in 2021.
While the travel rate has increased, this figure only grew about 63 percent from the total international tourist travel recorded during the period before the pandemic, he explained.
Middle East and Europe became regions with the highest growth of around 83 percent from before the pandemic, he pointed out.
Moreover, the US and Africa recorded a growth of 65 percent, while Asia as well as the Pacific only clocked an about 23-percent growth from before the pandemic.
Thus, Uno expressed gratitude that the participants can meet in the forum that will be the starting point to boost tourism growth in the ASEAN region.
ASEAN’s long journey in confronting crises in the tourism sector within the last few decades have made each of the countries more resilient and they are deemed to be able to face this challenge together, he remarked.
Uno cited the number of international tourist visits to Indonesia in 2022 that is estimated to surpass the target in 2023, especially since China lifted travel restrictions.
To this end, the Indonesian government has set an ambitious target for this year and the next, Uno remarked.
During the event, the minister also stated that this year's ATF meeting is very special for Indonesia.
This is especially since the event serves to carry forward the success of Indonesia's G20 Presidency while also fulfilling the commitment in the G20 Bali Guidelines of bolstering recovery efforts through improving the capability of human resources.
It also expands ASEAN's goal of becoming the epicenter of the world's economic growth. (antaranews)