Indonesia makes world's biggest jump in tourism development ranking

By Hoang Phong   May 24, 2024 | 12:40 am PT
Indonesia makes world's biggest jump in tourism development ranking
A police officer talks with tourists in front of the Bali Bomb Monument in Indonesia in 2016. Photo by Reuters
Indonesia recorded the biggest improvement in this year's travel and tourism development index, rising 14 places against 2019, the year before the onset of the Covid pandemic.

Such dramatic improvement puts Indonesia ahead of neighbors like Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand, according to the biennial ranking released on Tuesday by the World Economic Forum.

Most Southeast Asian countries have witnessed a fall from 2019, with Malaysia and Thailand down seven and six places to 35th and 47th respectively.

The index measures the factors and policies that enable sustainable and resilient development of tourism like business environment, safety and health conditions, price competitiveness, air transport infrastructure, tourist services and infrastructure, natural resources, and environmental, socioeconomic and demand pressures.

Indonesia has received high appreciation for prioritization of policy and enabling conditions for travel and tourism, price competitiveness, safety and security, and natural resources.

However, the Southeast Asia's largest economy is limited due to openness to travel and tourism.

In February, its tourism and creative economy minister Sandiaga Uno admitted that Indonesia had been losing foreign tourists to neighboring countries, citing inconvenient visa requirements.

Indonesia last year stopped the visa-free entry for citizens of 159 countries and territories amid concerns about "disruption of public order and potential transmission of diseases."

The country welcomed 11.7 million foreign tourists last year and aims to draw 14 million this year. It plans to waive visas for visitors in more countries and simplify permits to make it easier for the organization of large-scale music events.

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