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Indonesia seeks to raise foreign tourist visits via Skouw border post

Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno visited the Skouw Cross-Border Post in Jayapura, Papua, on Tuesday (March 21, 2023). (The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency)

The Skouw Cross-border Post in the Indonesian easternmost province Papua’s capital of Jayapura is expected to return to its condition before the COVID-19 pandemic, in which 1,500 foreign tourists entered Indonesia through the border checkpoint per day.

 

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said there are two agendas that would be collaborated among his ministry, the Skouw Cross-border Post and the Jayapura city administration to revive the tourism and creative economy sector in border areas.

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This aims to restore the condition of the Skouw Cross-border Post in Jayapura to the situation like the one before the COVID-19 pandemic, in which 1,500 foreign tourists entered Indonesia through the border checkpoint per day, Sandiaga said when meeting with the Chief Administrator of the Skouw Cross-border Post, Yan Numberi, in Jayapura, Tuesday (March 21).

“The first is the improvement of tourism infrastructure and the creative economy within the framework of the special allocation fund which will be submitted in collaboration with the Jayapura City Tourism Office,” Sandiaga said in a written statement as quoted by Indonesia Window, on Friday.

The minister also plans to bring back the Cross-border Festival in 2023, through a two-country collaboration between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

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This festival is expected to attract tourists to visit to Indonesia through the border, and is useful in establishing bilateral relations between the two countries.

The target is to attract up to 2,000 foreign tourists with a variety of arts, culture, music, film, micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) bazaar, and sports activities including fun runs.

“Later we will also collaborate with the Papua Youth Creative Hub which was just launched in Jayapura. For the fun run, of course, it will bring its own charm and something spectacular, because running crosses two countries,” Sandiaga noted.

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“Meanwhile, we hope that the UMKM Bazaar can move the wheels of the economy, especially for Papuan creative economy actors, so that we can encourage the typical Papuan handicraft, fashion and culinary for the revival of tourism and the creation of 4.4 million jobs in 2024,” he said.

Yan Numberi hopes that the post can return to the condition like the one when the post was first inaugurated.

At that time, travelers from Indonesia were free to cross to Papua New Guinea without using any passports and vice versa, so that the granting of free visas to foreign tourists from Papua New Guinea needs reviews.

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In addition, Yan Numberi welcomed the re-organization of the Cross-border Festival which is planned to be held in 2023.

“Because during the implementation of the Cross-border Festival a few years ago, the number of visitors increased significantly across this border. Thus, if the Cross-border Festival resumes, I’m sure visitors would return to crossing like the situation when the Skouw Cross-border Post was opened,” Yan Numberi said.

After the meeting, Sandiaga visited Skouw Market which is located not far from the Skouw Cross-border Post. Skouw Market is the center of buying and selling activities in the border area and is a favorite place for the people of Papua New Guinea to shop for their daily needs.

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Reporting by Indonesia Window

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