It’s never too late to wake up to Indonesia

I introduced the Internet, as a member of a request for proposals team, to a deputy minister at the Indonesian Department Tourism in 1998. We proposed a re-vamp of the Indonesia’s official tourism website. It was — and is — pretty bad. As I remember, Tourism was receptive to our ideas, but we failed to follow up.

Ten years later, just as the country was recovering from a string of terror bombings,  the Indonesian Tourism shot itself in the foot with the poster below, proudly on display at Jakarta’s Sukarno-Hatta International Airport yesterday.

Outdated Indonesian tourism (2010 photo)

Jakarta Int'l Airport, Sept. 2010

Due to nasty syntax and wrongish history, the poster is technically a blooper. The 2008 “visit Indonesia” campaign was just as feckless as the advert — or perhaps they were one and the same.

These are old stories, but the point is I still get to tell them: Indonesia is the ever-awakening never-never land, where anything is possible and you always get a second chance.

Tourism and most sectors of the economy in Indonesia are bucking global downtrends. Yet despite being one of the world’s friendliest, safest, largest, most diverse, unexplored countries, Indonesia has yet to reach the 7 mil arrivals target set in 2008.


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