Spain is seen as having successfully improved its economy from tourism sector despite the crisis that happened along with the crisis affecting Greek. Spain has attracted from 4 million to 11 million visitors in just four years.
This was said by Indonesian Ambassador to Spain, Dra. Yuli Mumpuni, in a debriefing forum at Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM on Monday (12/8).
According to Ambassador Yuli, the success was not apart from the efforts made by the previous Mayor of Madrid that had encouraged all sectors to boost tourism sector.
Spain, according to the Ambassador, made heritage as the main target of tourists. Their strength lies in the existence of 45 sites protected by the Unesco as opposed to Indonesia which only has 6 sites.
The previous Mayor of Madrid had also asked small and medium enterprises to participate in the movement by encouraging tourists to shop using free vouchers. “The Mayor of Madrid applied shopping tourism, from small to big shops were involved and all sectors supported it,” she said.
The Spanish government also paid attention to responses from visitors stated in questionnaires distributed to the tourists related to tourism destinations. The government would then evaluate the results every year.
“The policy they issue is really customer driven,” she said.
She added that the Spanish government also encouraged the provincial government to make creativity and innovation in developing ecotourism, such as wine picking in the vineyard and brewing their own wine. Some would offer filmmaking locations to Hollywood, facilitated by hotels and resorts.
Other speakers in the event were the Ambassadors to Sudan, Drs. Burhanuddin, to Libya, Raudin Anwar, and to South Africa, Drs. Suprapto Martosetomo.
Ambassador Burhanuddin said the problem in Sudan was to eliminate the stigma that the country was still in conflict and terrorism. In fact, the condition was quite the opposite. “Sudan is relatively conducive and safe,” he said.
He said there were 2,000 Indonesian students studying in Sudan. “Most of them learn religion. While the number of migrant workers is over 700 people,” he said.
Ambassador Burhanuddin said the duty of the Indonesian Embassy was to give protection to the Indonesian nationals, moreover Sudan does not impose visa regulations for migrant workers. “Our migrant workers can enter Sudan without visas, so what we do is to give them protection,” he said.
The Ambassador to Libya, Raudin Anwar, said there were 500s nationals in Libya while the post-revolution condition was still not conducive. Tribal wars still emerge. “Due to the very dangerous situation of Libya, protection of Indonesian nationals became the priority of the Indonesian Embassy,” he said.