Radar Bali reports that the Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, has confirmed that the government is taking a number of steps to promote cruise tourism, including repairs and upgrading at port facilities favored by cruise ships. One of the destinations listed for priority attention is Bali’s southernmost port of Benoa.
Speaking at an international cruise workshop held in Kuta on Thursday, April 12, 2012, the Minister commented: “In the short term, we have prioritized the Port of Benoa. This is being done, firstly, because the port of Benoa is listed in the Master Plan for the Acceleration of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI). Secondly, because Benoa is the most prepared (for an upgrade).”
The Minister revealed that a number of other ports, such as Tanjung Mas in Semarang; Tanjung Perak in Surabaya; and the Port of Belawan in Medan, Sumatra will be getting upgrades in the near future. Adding: “There are 10 of 25 ports in Indonesia which will be designated as Cruise Shipping Terminals, but in the near future we will prioritize the Port of Benoa. In the medium term, there will be more ports. We need to show results. So, if we succeed in Benoa, that will become an example of our credibility.”
Cruise ship operations in the Austral-Asia region continue to grow. There are about 70 ports visited by cruise ships in Indonesia. In 2012, a total of 200 cruise ships carrying an estimated 119,000 passengers are expected to visit Indonesia.
Because of the economic potential of cruise tourism, the government has annually allocated Rp. 7 billion (US$778,000) towards the development and promotion of cruise tourism.
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