Times are changing and so is the way we do business. What can Indonesia’s real estate and property businesses learn from the successes of the country’s tourism industry as it heads to do battle at ITB-Asia in Singapore?
ITB Asia is the leading industry event in the region. This year marks its 10th anniversary and it’s being held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from October 25 – 28. Expectations are high, especially for Indonesia who are enjoying the accolades of winning the recent UNWTO (United Nation World Tourism Organization) Award – Tourism Video Competition 2017.
“Journey to a Wonderful Indonesia” won the East Asia and Pacific Award and the People’s Choice Award, (click here to see the video) and let’s not forget Bali was also crowned Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Award as the World’s Best Destination 2017.
Pats on the back all round!
But there’s more. In 2016 Indonesia won 46 awards in 22 countries. The Wonderful Indonesia tourism brand sits in 47th place in global rankings whilst the country’s main competitors, Thailand and Malaysia sit at 83rd and 96th respectively.
This hasn’t happened by accident.
Arief Yahya, Indonesia’s Minster of Tourism, was reported by The Jakarta Post recently as saying tourism has been set as the nation’s leading economy sector by President Joko Widodo. That means more exposure, more events, more infrastructure and more money.
Tourism is a serious business it seems. Actually, it’s one of the world’s leading economic sectors according to the World Travel & Tourism Council and it has all the signs of getting bigger, stronger and faster.
It reflects how the world is changing, mirroring a shift from old to new.
UNESCO declared 2017 as the international Year of Sustainable Tourism for development and it “aims to support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector.” (Source: World Tourism Organisation UNWTO)
Earlier this year Vogue Magazine ran an article entitled Why “Transformative Travel” Will Be the Travel Trend of 2017. Michaela Trimble, noted that “Industry leaders are saying that “transformational travel” is the next evolution. It has similar elements of experiential travel, but taken a step further—it’s travel motivated and defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development, and a deeper communion with nature and culture.”
It also impacts the traveler long after the actual travel has finished.
This is all very good news, especially for a country so naturally rich, so culturally diverse and with so much to offer as Indonesia.
This is why Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism are sending a jumbo sized delegation to ITB Asia including representatives from 90 tourism industries such as hotels and travel agents, 74 tourism industry co-delegates, 6 tourism offices as well as ancillary tourism information services. According to Travel Update, Indonesia will be the biggest exhibitor this year.
And all of this has massive implications for Indonesia’s property business.
It’s up to developers, real estate agencies and investors to understand that what we do and how we do it impacts communities, affects the environment and changes lives. We need to step up to the plate and act responsibly.
We should look at how we do business and how we behave. We need to look at the bigger picture and do the right thing, because if we do we can make a difference. It gives us the opportunity to make the world a better place.
In a World Bank blog, dated September 27, Louise Twining-Ward and Damien Shiels outlined 20 solid reasons we need to integrate tourism into a development agenda.
They argue that “sustainable tourism is a proven tool for development, benefiting communities in destinations around the world. A new World Bank Group report released on World Tourism Day explains 20 Reasons to integrate tourism in your development agenda. The paper, which also celebrates the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, explains how sustainable tourism counts not just for travelers, but for tourism destinations and local residents.”
Here are those reasons at a glance.
1. Stimulates GDP Growth:
Worth USD7.6 trillion dollars, the travel and tourism sector accounts for more than 10% of global GDP, and represents 7% of all international trade and 30% of the world’s export in services.
2. Increases International Trade:
Worth USD1.4 trillion in export earnings, tourism is the third world’s largest global export.
3. Boosts International Investment:
Tourism and hospitality is now the second fastest-growing industry in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI).
4. Drives Infrastructure Development:
Tourism sector development often results in improvements in basic infrastructure, such as airports, roads, water supply, energy, and medical services.
5. Supports Low-Income Economies:
In 2015, the world’s 48 lower income and lower middle income countries received 29 million international tourist arrivals (nearly a threefold increase in a decade) and earned USD21 billion from international tourism.
6. Creates Jobs Efficiently:
The second largest-job generator, travel and tourism supported 292 million jobs, or one in ten jobs in 2016.
7. Promotes Inclusive Growth:
Tourism is labor intensive and has the potential to reach and benefit large numbers of people thanks to its wide supply chain.
8. Strengthens Rural Communities:
Rural tourism supports economic diversification and creates jobs for rural youth and ethnic minorities.
9. Revitalizes Urban Areas:
As urban populations surge globally, many cities pursue tourism-based urban regeneration for its potential to create jobs, improve infrastructure, and attract investments.
10. Improves Access to Income via Travel Tech:
Digital platforms are transforming the way travel is researched, purchased, provided and experienced, which offers many new, more informal ways to earn money through tourism.
11. Benefits Women:
Women make up 60 to 70% of tourism-industry workers and tourism is one of the few sectors where female labor participation is already above parity in some regions.
12. Bolsters Artisans:
Artisans benefit from selling their crafts to tourists, which opens them up to the global market.
13. Facilitates Conservation:
Nature-based tourism is in high demand, which not only increases the value placed on unspoiled nature and wildlife, it generates funds used for conservation.
14. Raises Climate Change Awareness:
Tourism is often an innovator of sustainable consumption and production, and climate change awareness.
15. Propels the Blue Economy:
Tourism accounts for an estimated 26% of ocean-based economic activity, making it a key driver of the blue economy and increasing the value of marine conservation.
16. Protects Cultural Sites:
Visitor spending on entrance tickets, guides and souvenirs contributes to capital needed for the protection of important cultural sites.
17. Sustains Intangible Culture:
Tourism can protect or revive intangible cultural heritage, music, performing arts, and oral traditions
18. Spreads Philanthropy:
Tourism can be an effective way to engage visitors in philanthropy.
19. Cultivates Intercultural Understanding:
Meeting diverse peoples and experiencing other cultures via tourism play a critical role in promoting peace, security, and intercultural understanding.
20. Aids Post-Conflict Recovery:
Tourism has served as a post-conflict recovery tool for many fragile and conflict situations (FCS)
So, for all of you realtors, developers and investors with an interest in Indonesia … what are you waiting for? The time is right and the time is now! We should all be seriously considering how we can work together for the benefit of more.
And if we use the tourism industry’s initiative and momentum there’s no reason why we shouldn’t step up to the plate. Are you ready to make a difference?
Sources: ITB-Asia, TripAdvisor, YouTube, UNWTO, UNESCO, World Travel and Tourism Council, The Jakarta Post, Vogue Magazine, Travel Update, The World Bank, Tourism For Development 2017.
Andy writes on a variety of topics related to property, real estate, the customer experience, mindset training and local/international trends for Seven Stones Indonesia. You can read some of his blogs here.