UNAIR NEWS – The development of tourism sector becomes an economic power in various countries. Seeing the magnitude of Indonesia’s tourism potential, the Faculty of Vocational Studies Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) held a guest lecture with Dr. Mark Hampton FRGS from University of Kent, United Kingdom.
“You should use this activity well as he is an expert in the field of tourism, especially the tourism industry in South-East Asia,” said Afifah Rahmania, staff of event and communication admin of Airlangga Global Engagement (AGE) in the opening of public lecture.
The guest lecture held on Thursday, March 8 was entitled “Tourism and Economic Development in South East Asia”. Mark started his lecture by explaining the history of the rapid development of tourism in every period of time. He mentioned that in 1980s, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore were still visited 2-3 million tourists each year. In the 1990s, it was doubled. Moreover, Indonesia increased threefold, dominated by Bali and Jakarta.
Behind the rapid development, Mark outlined several factors driving the growth of the tourism industry, ranging from hospitality to transportation. The increase in demand due to long holidays in Europe and North America was led to many destinations to Asia.
“Asia is famous for its distinctive exotic. Beautiful beaches, high waves, to other local wisdoms become the main attraction, “said Mark who is also one of the lecturers at the University of Kent.
Western perception, Mark added, sees the tropical country as a paradise. Moreover, it is promoted through television stations and internet that increasingly attract consumers.
In addition, the growth of tourism interest has an impact on the economy. It contributes greatly to state revenues and exchange rate revenues. In addition, the community began to find jobs and providers of souvenirs or traditional food typical of the region.
During researching tourism in Asia, Mark found several issues, the promotion strategy as a matter of how to sell different things and show the characteristics of a country and on the construction of hotels or supporting facilities which still require high capital.
“In the future, rising oil prices will affect travel costs. On the other hand, when various countries have come to Indonesia, it has the potential for conflict due to cultural differences. This is a future challenge in management practice, “Mark concluded. (*)
Author: Siti Nur Umami
Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh