When it comes to visiting Indonesia, travellers tend to favour Bali, attracted by its beautiful beaches, rich culture and amazing temples. In an effort to encourage visitors to check out other destinations, the country's president, Joko Widodo, wants to progress an ambitious plan to diversify Southeast Asia's largest economy.
The plan is called "10 New Balis," and it includes upgrading provincial airports, the construction of new amenities and improving access to the chosen destinations. There are 18,307 islands in Indonesia, and the government is hoping to transpose the success Bali has enjoyed to several corners of the country. The '10 New Balis project' will work hard on convincing visitors to check out the attractions other areas have to offer. More than 40% of visitors, or six million people, visited Bali last year and the project is not meant to devalue this destination.
Instead, the plan to grow the tourism sector complements the country's broader strategy for more infrastructure development, particularly in relation to enhancing connectivity. The destinations chosen under the '10 New Balis' plan for further development include Lombok Mandalika and Labuan Bajo in Nusa Tenggara, Borobudur Temple, Bromo Tengger Semeru and Tanjung Lesung Beach in Java, Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Thousand Islands in Jakarta, Tanjung Kelayang Beach in Banten, and Wakatobi and Morotai Island in North Maluku.
The Borobudur Temple complex, a Unesco World Heritage site, and nearby Yogyakarta are among the places the country aims to make more easily accessible to travellers. To get the ball rolling, Yogyakarta is getting a second airport that is due to open later this year, which will surely help to attract more visitors there.