As the main port of entry into the country, Jakarta is crucial to the success of Visit Indonesia Year 2008.
However, the city administration and the city tourism agency are yet to announce any special events to be held in the capital to support the central government’s efforts to attract tourists.
To monitor Jakarta’s involvement in Indonesia’s current tourism drive, The Jakarta Post has been regularly visiting the city’s official tourism website www.jakarta-tourism.go.id.
As of Friday evening, the only significant change on the website was a “Visit Indonesia 2008” logo at the top of the page.
On its main page, the website does not offer any information about Visit Indonesia 2008 programs. However, limited information can be found after clicking on the “Calendar of Events” link. After searching through events to be held in 2008, four were found.
The four events are Trend Furniture 2008, International Education Expo 2008, Trend Property 2008 and the International Renewable Energy Conference.
Remarkably, the upcoming Java Jazz Festival to be held from March 7-9 is not mentioned. The organizer has already started selling tickets to the event, which will feature Al Jarreau, Matt Bianco, Renee Olstead and the Manhattan Transfer.
Since its inaugural year in 2005, Java Jazz has attracted an average of 100,000 domestic and international visitors each year.
Smaller events such as the Urbanimation animation festival being held from Jan. 14 to 20 at Taman Ismail Marzuki also do not feature on the website’s calendar of events.
The website also gives no mention to other international events being held in the city, such as the Jakarta International Film Festival (Jiffest) and the JakJazz jazz festival.
In 2006, JiFFest became the largest film festival in Southeast Asia, with a collective audience of 63,000 people.
One of the website’s strengths is its attention to Jakarta’s meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) facilities.
The website features information on hotels, places to eat and drink, entertainment venues, shopping destinations, sports centers and a number of major attractions showcased in museums, zoos and art houses.
However, the website lists only 15 pubs and bars in the city. Several newer bars in the city, such as Dragonfly and Red Square, are not mentioned on the website.
Jakarta’s museums were also not all featured on the website. For example, information on the Maritime Museum in North Jakarta is not available.
Located next to Sunda Kelapa port, the historic museum was once a Dutch spice warehouse.
The central government launched Visit Indonesia Year 2008 in an effort to attract 7 million foreign visitors to the country this year, who are expected to spend up to US$6.4 billion.
When contacted by The Jakarta Post, City Tourism Agency head Yusuf Effendi Pohan was not available for an interview.