Terasjabar.co – The West Java administration has made tourism one of the seven key points it aims to improve to push economic growth in the province after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other six points are making use of the US-China trade war, food security, healthcare, automation manufacturing, digital innovation and green business.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said that the province’s economic growth in the third quarter had picked by 3.37 percent quarter-to-quarter (qoq) on account of, among other, the province’s advantage of the tourism sector that did not rely on air travel.
“The West Java tourist destination can be reached by land transportation and visitors are mostly domestic tourists. This is an opportunity that we are focusing to improve,” he said on Tuesday during the second day of 2020 West Java Investment Summit in Bandung City.
The strategies to improve tourism in West Java, Ridwan said, were by improving access and infrastructure, improving the tourist destination and establishing special economic zones (KEK) for tourism. “The latter is the most difficult but we keep moving toward that direction,” he said.
“Tourism is our strength and it’s unlimited, there are all kinds of tourism from shopping like in Singapore, gambling in Las Vegas to religious tourism. That’s because tourism is a happiness business and happiness varies. As long as people pay for happiness, tourism thrives,” said the governor.
On the same day, state-owned plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PN) VIII signed an MoU (Management of Understanding) for cooperation in the tourism sector with regional-owned enterprise PT Jasa & Kepariwisataan Jawa Barat Perseroda (Jaswita).
Ridwan expressed his gratitude for the partnership. He said that West Java had a lot of tourism potential, especially natural tourism. However, many of these natural assets are owned by the state without being utilized despite having economic value.
“If state-owned enterprises are open to a public-private partnership, as PT PN VIII will offer various locations to investors, I believe we can optimize the value of our assets,” he said.
PT PN VIII director Mohammad Yudayat said that the company would soon develop 400 hectares of its land, out of 3,200 hectares of land targeted to become a tourist attraction, in Ciater in Subang Regency
“We are expanding our business from commodities such as tea, palm oil and rubber to tourism. We’ve seen the tourism potential in our lands in Ciater District, Ciwidey District, Pangalengan District, and many more. We’ll optimize the potential without harming the environment,” said Yudayat.
Meanwhile, PT Jaswita director Deni Nurdiana Hadimin was confident that the partnership in tourism development would be fruitful. “The tourism trend during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is outdoor tourism, this is a promising business especially given the PT PN’s wide coverage of land,” he said.
Ridwan went on to say that in February next year, there will be more public-private deals made regarding the province’s land assets. “Today is only one third [of the total assets],” he said.