The 20th UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Livingstone, Zambia has on Thursday 29 August elected Indonesia as Chair of the Executive Council of UNWTO for the period 2013-2014, with Jamaica and Mozambique as Vice Chairs, reported Kompas daily from Zambia.
Indonesia was represented by Dr. Sapta Nirwandar, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy. In accepting the chairmanship, Sapta Nirwandar said that he promised to make all efforts to meet the hopes of members of the organization.
To Kompas, Sapta explained that the Executive Council is important in the management of UNWTO since all programs must first be approved by the Council. The election of Indonesia to chair this Council is recognition of Indonesia’s long membership in UNWTO, where Indonesia is also member of its Budget Committee and the Ethics Committee.
The 20th General Assembly re-elected Taleb Rifai as UNWTO Secretary General.
Major issues discussed during the General Assembly were visa facilities, tax reductions and connectivity. Other matters include marketing support, cooperation among tourist destinations, and technical assistance. As a multinational organization, UNWTO is the position to urge member countries to improve their tourism policies, for example in reducing taxes for outbound tourists, which hampers the growth of tourism. In this connection, Indonesia has lifted outbound tax for its citizens who are travelling abroad;
For Indonesia this recognition to Chair the Executive Council will increase Indonesia’s image in global tourism and provide easier access for information and tourism data.
Meanwhile, Minister Mari Pangestu, Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, who had also attended the opening of the Assembly, held bilateral meetings with Tourism Ministers from China, Vietnam, South Korea and Malaysia, on the sidelines of the UNWTO General Assembly, in preparation of the Tourism Ministers Meeting at the APEC Summit to be held in Bali early October 2013.
In 2014 Indonesia aims to welcome 9.5 million tourists.
Photo Courtesy UNWTO
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