ISTA 2019 Launch: Tourism Ministry Aims to See All Tourism Destinations Own Sustainable Certification

Monday, 18 March 2019 | 13.34 WIB

[Jakarta, 18 March 2019] The Ministry of Tourism Indonesia (MOT Indonesia) will be holding the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards (ISTA) for the third time in 2019. This is the government’s means for awarding people involved in sustainable tourism and also measuring the implementation of sustainable tourism in destinations across Indonesia. 

ISTA 2019, which will be handing out prizes worth a total of IDR 1 billion, is also a means for promoting and achieving the ministry’s target of having all tourism destinations in the nation obtain a sustainable tourism certificate in order to be established as a world-class tourism destination. 

Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya applauded ISTA 2019 for its third year of implementation, which includes a higher participation target and bigger prizes. “Indonesia’s target is to be established as a world-class sustainable tourism destination. Therefore, MOT Indonesia is implementing the Sustainable Tourism for Development (STDev) program under Ministerial Regulation Number 14 Year 2016 concerning the Guideline on Sustainable Tourism Development that adopts the GSTC’s (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) international standard,” Arief Yahya said during a press conference after the launch of ISTA 2019, which also marked the opening of the registration for the event, at the Soesilo Soedarman Hall, Sapta Pesona Building, MOT Indonesia Office, in Jakarta on Monday (18/3/2019) evening. 

Minister Arief Yahya explained that tourism destinations are being nurtured through the concept of sustainable tourism after the tourism sector was directed to become one of the top sectors that contribute to the state budget. “The Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards (ISTA) is the first step towards obtaining a certification for sustainable tourism. I have established a Team for the Acceleration of Sustainable Tourism Development headed by Valerina Daniel,” he said. 

Head of the Team for the Acceleration of Sustainable Tourism Development, Valerina Daniel, explained the Ministry of Tourism’s sustainable tourism program is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals that have been adopted through the National Mid-term Development Plan (RPJMN). 

“So far, MOT Indonesia is only providing guidelines on tourism destinations. In the future, we will strengthen this sector through regulations that include sustainable standards for industries, such hotels and travel agencies. The tourism sector must empower all parties in order to become a top sector,” said Valerina Daniel.

Deputy for the Development of Tourism Destinations, Rizki Ratman, explained MOT Indonesia has established the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Council (ISTC) that is tasked with certifying destinations. The process will start by certifying the winners of ISTA 2017 and ISTA 2018 because they have managed to comply with the sustainable tourism standards acknowledged by the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization).

Sustainable tourism takes into consideration three main aspects: environment, social and economy. This will apply for now and the future. These aspects are dubbed 3P + 1M, which stands for People, Planet, Prosperity and Management. The people approach is an effort to preserve the culture of the residents of a tourism destination and the visitors. The Planet approach is aimed at preserving the environment. Prosperity is the utilization of the economy for the locals. Last but not least, the management approach is the governance of a sustainable tourism destination that puts forth this sector’s tagline, “To Preserve is to Prosper”. 

Mari Elka Pangestu, one of the honorary judges for ISTA 2019, explained, “The Sustainable Tourism Certification (STC) falls under the series of activities under the Ministry of Tourism’s Sustainable Tourism for Development program. It begins with a Sustainable Tourism Destination (STD), which is the implementation of the concept of sustainable tourism at a tourism destination along with the destination’s regional administration. It is then followed up with the Sustainable Tourism Observatory (STO) where local administrations collaborate with universities to monitor certain destinations. In the end, we want all destinations to be certified as sustainable tourism destinations.”

Actor Hamish Daud, who also actively campaigns about the preservation of the ocean’s environment, was present during the launch of ISTA 2019. Hamish stated he supports sustainable tourism in Indonesia. “I want the future generation to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature and local cultures and also gain economical benefits from Indonesia’s tourism sector,” he said. 

One hundred and seventy six destinations participated in ISTA 2018. This was a significant hike compared to the 96 participants in 2017. Registration for ISTA 2019 will be open from March 18th 2019 to May 18th 2019. The next phase would be the selection and judging process. The final phase would be the award ceremony scheduled to be held on World Tourism Day, September 27th 2019. For more information, visit the microsite, 

(Public Communications Bureau)

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