Raja Ampat, along with its Waisai Beach in the fabulous archipelago in West Papua at the tip of the Birdshead peninsula, were awarded Most Favorite New Destination in the Indonesia Tourism Award 2011, the highest appreciation towards the tourism industry and destinations handed annually by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in cooperation with SWA Magazine and MetroTV.
The third Indonesia Tourism Award 2011 was held at a special ceremony at the Grand Studio of Metrotv on 8 December, attended by Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, DR. Mari Elka Pangestu, Deputy Minister Sapta Nirwandar, CEO of SWA, Kemal Effendi Gani , governors, mayors, CEO’s of tourism companies from throughout Indonesia.
Second and third most favorite New Destination fell on Tanah Lot in Bali and the Jatim Park in East Java.
Favorite Town and District giving the Best Services were awarded to Malang (East Java), Denpasar (Bali) and Tana Toraja (South Sulawesi). While Best organized Provinces in Tourism Award went to Bali, Jakarta and Yogyakarta.
Favorite Full Service Airline Award was Garuda Indonesia, with Favorite Low Cost Carrier, Sriwijaya Air. Favorite Tour Operator went to Panorama Tour, Favorite Taxi to Putra, Most Favorite Spa Award went to Javana Spa and Favorite Golf Course Award the Royale Jakarta.
Bandar Jakarta Seafood Restaurant was awarded Most Favorite Restaurant, with Plaza Senayan in Jakarta Most Favorite Mall. The Paris van Java in Bandung received Most Favorite Mall Outside Jakarta award.
In her speech, Minister Mari Pangestu said that tourists must feel safe and happy from their arrival to a destination until their return to their respective home country. For this reason, both the tourism industry as well as local governments play a most important role in providing the best services to tourists.
The Indonesia Tourism Awards are the result of a long process that include a survey in 25 cities/districts selected from its level of Gross Regional Domestic Product contribution in tourism, and through focus group discussions (FGD)held by SWA Magazine. The survey was participated by 1.500 tourists, comprising 1.350 Indonesian and 150 international tourists. A number of categories also involved 100 respondents from executives and professionals. In each city, the number of respondents reached between 60 to 90 tourists. To complement survey results, a panel of judges, professionals and experienced in the field of tourism, was asked to determine the winners of some categories.
ITA 2011 is aimed to encourage tourism officials in cities, districts and provincial levels, and tourism stakeholders such as: airlines, hotels, restaurants, travel agents, to improve their efforts and creativity in providing the best services to tourists, both national and international. With the acknowledgment towards the efforts of regional leaders and tourism stakeholders, it is hoped that the tourism industry in Indonesia will flourish. If tourists’ destinations can grow more diverse and attractive, complemented with the increasing quality of services, then the opportunities to attract tourists in a larger scale will grow significantly.