Jakarta aims to bring more Thai tourists

PHOTO: Istiqlal Mosque, one of many attractions Jakarta offers to Thai tourists. (via Wikimedia)

With tourism in recovery across Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta is bidding to bring more Thai people next year. The head of the Marketing and Attraction Division under Jakarta’s Department of Tourism and Creative Economy espoused the draw of Indonesia’s largest city for international tourists and businesspeople to visit.

Jakarta has always been the heart of Indonesia, the main international hub for international tourists, and the business centre of the country. The governmental capital will be moving to Nusantara in East Kalimantan, but Jakarta will likely remain the symbolic capital of the country for the foreseeable future. The Marketing and Attractions head said that, while tourism stopped during the pandemic, Jakarta’s economic growth kept going.

“The pandemic forced the world to reset, but Jakarta built on its foundations instead, with many new places constructed during Covid-19.”

Coming out of the pandemic, Jakarta has seen about 500,000 visitors for the year, far short of the 2.5 million that used to visit yearly before the lockdowns. Like Thailand and much of Southeast Asia, they don’t expect a full recovery until China fully reopens to allow their citizens to travel internationally. But they have set their sights on hitting one million visitors from abroad in Jakarta next year.

Currently, the majority of tourists to Indonesian city comes from Malaysia, Japan, Korea, China, and Thailand. Promotional tourism campaigns popped up in Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, and Seoul in these countries, as well as exhibitions in Singapore and Dubai. The Department of Tourism plans to do similar campaigns and exhibitions in Bangkok next year.

Jakarta has been hard at work promoting attractions both new and old to tourists, Bangkok Post reports. A brand new 82,000-seat National Stadium, complete with a retractable roof, has recently opened. And a pedestrian crossing bridge in south Jakarta built in the shape of a traditional Indonesian ship from South Sulawesi island has become a popular Instagram pic stop for domestic and international tourists. The bridge is also considered a monument to the medical personnel who died at the beginning of the pandemic.

The city also boasts 385 malls for shopping tourists, as well as the Jakarta Aquarium Safari, a National Monument celebrating independence, and the Jakarta Cathedral. The Istiqlal Mosque is an impressive sixth-largest in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia.

The massive metropolis also has been working to improve transportation options, including walking, running, and cycling paths throughout the city. The government set a target date of 2030 to be using only electric buses and to have linked up the eastern and western suburbs of Jakarta. Likewise, the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit system running north to south in the city is expanding to 108 kilometres to connect satellite cities and suburbs.

Asia News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.