The Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards Festival (ISTAFest) 2019 initiated by the Ministry of Tourism Indonesia (MOT Indonesia) is expected to speed up the establishment of Indonesia as a world-class sustainable tourism destination.
Valerina Daniel, Head of MOT Indonesia’s Sustainable Tourism Acceleration Team, explained during the ISTA Fest 2019 held at the Ballroom, Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, that ISTAFest is a celebration of sustainable tourism in Indonesia aimed at promoting an understanding of sustainable tourism.
“This is ISTA’s third year. Participants increased from only 176 participants in 2018 to 263 participants this year. This event is also aimed at promoting tourism destinations that have implemented the concept of sustainable tourism according to Tourism Ministerial Regulation No. 14 Year 2016,” said Valerina Daniel.
Destinations that implement sustainable tourism values are considered as the appropriate response to society’s unease concerning tourism activities that destroy the environment, she added.
Therefore, the implementation of this concept was featured during ISTAFest 2019, which included three main activities: ISTA Forum, ISTA Mart and the ISTA Awards 2019.
ISTAMart is a useful event that serves as an outlet for promoting and marketing sustainable tourism destinations.
Meanwhile, the ISTA Forum is an outlet for discussions featuring international and national speakers (expects in sustainable tourism and marketing) who discuss topics and partnership opportunities for developing sustainable tourism.
Valerina also explained that the participants of ISTAFest are all stakeholders (pentahelix ABCGM) comprised of academicians, businesses (tourism industry players), the government (central government and regional administrations), communities (the public and partners; UNWTO, Green Destinations, World Bank, SECO, UNDP) and the media.
MOT Indonesia announced ISTA is not a competition among destinations that compares their appeal or tourism businesses. It is instead aimed at motivating other destinations to improve their development of sustainable tourism. In addition, ISTA’s goal is also to build and raise public awareness and the awareness of players in the tourism industry on sustainable tourism activities and honor destinations that have implemented the values of sustainable tourism.
Therefore, MOT Indonesia has partnered up with Traveloka to promote the winners of the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards (ISTA) 2019, 2018, 2019. MOT Indonesia has also bridged a partnership with Monash University Australia and Gadjah Mada Univesity’s Monitoring Centre for Sustainable Tourism Observatory (MCSTO) to develop sustainable tourism destinations and more specifically, empower the economy, social aspects and culture of the people residing in sustainable tourism destinations.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said the development of the tourism businesses and the tourism industry is no longer measured based on three aspects. These aspects have been increased to five aspects known as the 5P, which include People, Planet, Profit (as a replacement to Prosperity), Peace and Partnership.
“Profit served as a replacement because it only benefits society while Prosperity benefits both the society and elements outside of society. We must build the society first before we build the business. We aim to preserve and prosper the Planet. Meanwhile, Prosperity maintains existence,” Tourism Minister Arief Yahya explained.
In addition, Tourism Minister Arief also reminded stakeholders about the CEO commitment. He said CEO commitments, or commitments made by regional leaders, are the most important elements for the tourism sector. It would be impossible to realize sustainable tourism without CEO commitments.
“If the CEO of a region establishes tourism as the leading sector in development, then all ministries and agencies will support the development of tourism infrastructure,” said Minister Arief Yahya.
MOT Indonesia also awarded the Tourism Awareness Group (Pokdarwis) as a motivator in society in their respective regions to achieve the goal of realizing the Sapta Pesona act.
This award was also aimed at encouraging Pokdarwis to improve their quality, role and capacity as a motivator in society and aid locals in reaping benefits from tourism activities in their respective areas.
This year, the Pokdarwis in 18 provinces submitted 58 proposals. MOT Indonesia then elected Pokdarwis nominees from 15 provinces.
This event was also aimed at applauding and awarding universities that implemented Village Tourism programs to follow up MoUs signed between MOT Indonesia and universities on 28 February 2019.
The following is the list of the winners of ISTA 2019:
Best Sustainable Tourism Governance
Best Utilization of the Economy for Locals
Best Cultural Preservation
Best Environmental Preservation
Acting Head of the Public Communications Bureau