Indonesia has a diversity of cultures and natural resources that can be managed and promoted as attractions through tourism. Cultural values in Indonesia can be enjoyed by tourists when they visit and facilitate the process of communication between people. In recent years tourism has become an important activity in improving relations between countries with the large number of tourists visiting Indonesia. This will provide important effects and contributions to improving the country’s image, bilateral relations, and improving the nation’s economy. Tourism today is part of the lifestyle and to get to know the nature and culture of other nations. With the cultural values and local wisdom possessed by Indonesia shows the strength that Indonesia is a multicultural country with the strength that Indonesia has in the field of tourism can achieve global competitiveness.
In 2002 and 2003 Indonesia experienced acts of terror committed by terrorists. This tarnished Indonesia’s image in the international eyes. Some countries issue travel bans, travel warnings and travel advisories to their citizens for a while not visiting Indonesia. The ban had a major impact on the tourism sector, so the Indonesian government conducted diplomacy towards the international community through tourism campaigns. The aim of the tourism campaign is to rebuild Indonesia’s declining tourism image. One of the steps taken by the Indonesian government is public diplomacy through the Visit Indonesia Year 2008 and Wonderful Indonesia campaigns. Diplomacy is an Indonesian communication tool for the international public to re-introduce Indonesian tourism to the world as a religious, natural, rich cultural diversity and tourist attraction that will provide a unique experience for tourists.
The development of the world smoldering influence on the concept of tourism. The concept of tourism developed and gave rise to the term sharia tourism which became a trend in the world community. This is in line with the Islamic economy which has become an important part in the current global economy. In the Islamic economic sector there are things that have increased significantly are culinary, Islamic finance, insurance industry, fashion, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, entertainment and tourism sectors that carry the concept of halal. Halal is meant here is the concept of halal and haram in Islam, halal means justified and haram means prohibited.
Is Halal Tourism?
Halal Tourism is a terminology that Indonesia uses for Sharia Tourism. The concept of Shari’a Tourism starts from the concept of pilgrimage tourism. As a country with the largest Muslim community in the world, most of Indonesia’s population lives in accordance with Islamic values so that the concept of halal is very suitable to be applied in tourism in Indonesia. Indonesia has the advantage of being a Muslim-friendly destination by providing travel services and managing tourist destinations by adapting products and services to properly serve Muslim tourists.
The existence of Indonesian Halal Tourism does not eliminate the differences that occur in society related to social structure. This is only to show that the majority of the Indonesian population embraces Islam but does not fade the spirit of Unity in Diversity. So that the values of virtue and the importance of mutual harmony between mosques, churches, temples, temples, temples or other places of worship as well as cultural and spiritual richness that is owned by Indonesia become a strength and attraction in Indonesian Halal Tourism. In addition, Indonesia’s natural and cultural wealth reflects religious values, solidarity and aesthetics in historical heritage.
In the era of globalization, Indonesian culture also continues to develop. The development of culture as an increasingly modern national identity in practice continues to adopt progressive values and openness. Globalization does not necessarily undermine the national culture but instead strengthens the values of Islam and the customs of society or what is known as local wisdom. In October 2015 Indonesia won three awards from 15 categories at the 2015 World Travel Travel Summit and Exhibition held on 19-20 October 2015 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The World Halal Travel Summit and Exhibition is an institution that exclusively represents the halal tourism sector. This award is given for excellence in services, tourism products, and awards for the family-friendly sector.
With the award received by Indonesia, the image of Indonesian Halal Tourism is increasing, making the government through the Ministry of Tourism to form an Indonesian Halal Tourism Development Acceleration Team (TP3H) and targeting Indonesia as the leading halal tourism destination in ASEAN. In 2016 the Ministry of Tourism officially announced the term Halal Tourism Indonesia with the tagline Halal Tourism Indonesia, The Halal Wonders which is a series of active series of efforts and the government’s commitment to improve the image of Indonesia in all levels of the Muslim community in the world. This Halal Tourism Campaign will contribute to supporting Indonesia’s diplomacy to foreign countries so that it can improve Indonesia’s image as a country that is tolerant, harmonious and continues to uphold Islamic culture and values without eliminating the uniqueness and originality of the region.
The Effort of Indonesian Government to Promote Halal Tourism
Indonesia promotes Halal Tourism to Abroad through Public Diplomacy. What is Public Diplomacy? Public Diplomacy is a way to build relations between countries. Values held are mutual understanding within the scope of culture and society, communicating views, correcting misunderstandings and seeking common ground with one another. Public diplomacy seeks to attract attention using television broadcasts, subsidizing cultural exports and conducting cultural exchanges. These activities are carried out to achieve a goal. Here are some of the objectives of public diplomacy put forward by Mark Leonard entitled Public Diplomacy are:
- Increase public knowledge about a country.
- Increase public appreciation of a country, form positive perceptions, and equalize opinions on a global issue.
- Strengthen ties with a country through education, encourage other countries to come to tourist destinations, come to learn, make other countries buy local products and make other people understand the values of the country.
- Influence the community to get investment or influence to collaborate.
This public diplomacy is then used to carry out tourism diplomacy. What is Tourism Diplomacy? Tourism diplomacy is one of the new ways to build friendships with other countries without coercion and is carried out with the spread, exchange and understanding of culture through tourism. “Can break the ice or melt the ice” tourism means that tourism can reach the public all over the world with the natural charm and cultural diversity that has potential in a country. The impact of public diplomacy is to form a positive picture of a country.
Currently Indonesia through the Ministry of Tourism makes a brand to continue to campaign for the promotion of Indonesian tourism, namely Halal Tourism Indonesia. The program is expected to have a significant impact in facilitating Indonesia’s diplomacy to reach Muslim countries in the world. The government to introduce Sharia Tourism Indonesia, one of which is by collaborating with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) by organizing the Global Halal Forum on the theme of Wonderful Indonesia as Moslem Friendly Destination in October 2013. The activity was attended by more than 25 countries that are members of the Halal Assurance System, Halal Certifer Bodies and World Halal Food Council. Countries that attended the forum included Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, China, Australia, New Zealand, England, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Canada, France, Spain, Russia, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, the United States, Colombia, and Brazil.
In addition to organizing the Global Halal Forum, on the same occasion the opening of the Indonesia Halal Expo (Indhex) 2013 was held. The exhibition was held to introduce Halal certified products. Indhex takes place from 30 October to 2 November 2013 at JIEXpo Kemayoran Jakarta (Kemenpar, 2013). In 2015 the term Halal Tourism began to be known at a World Halal Tourism Summit (WHTS) event which was held in Abu Dhabi. The Indonesian government then officially announced the Indonesian Halal Tourism in the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIFE) on August 2, 2016 in Jakarta. At that time Indonesia was honored to be the organizer of the event because of its potential as the largest Halal Tourism destination in the world.
In carrying out Halal Tourism activities, the Ministry of Tourism collaborates and directly involves hoteliers and travel agents. The two private institutions participated in participating in the international tourism festival as well as participating in the tourism festival organized by the Ministry of Tourism. In 2016 the Ministry of Tourism released a list of the best Muslim-friendly family-friendly hotels and the best travel tour operators that were selected through the 2016 National Halal Tourism Competition by the P3H Team. This is to convince the global Muslim community about the readiness of Indonesia as a Halal Tourism destination.
The Ministry of Tourism campaign is also carried out through the media by implementing the POSE strategy (paid media, owned media, social media, endorsers). Paid Media: Islamic Finder, Muslim MNC, Republika, Kompas, Mizan, HalalBooking.com, salingsapa.com, Ummi Magazine, Noor Magazine, alifTV, British Muslim, The Muslim Travel Girl, Zhabihah Channel, YouTube, TripAdvisor and Google. Owned Media is one of the official websites of the Ministry of Tourism. There is also a domain address is http://halaltourism.id/. This website is equipped with features that will make it easier for users to access contact information from the Ministry of Tourism, photo and gallery of leading halal tourism destinations in Indonesia as well as information about the top 5 Muslim friendly destinations.
This website also contains information on Sharia hotels (where to stay), restaurants with halal standards (where to eat), and places to shop (where to shop) in halal tourism destinations. Social Media: Instagram (@kemenpar and @indtravel), Facebook (Ministry of Tourism), Twitter (@kemenpar_RI), Garuda Indonesia Cooperation Blog run by Ministry of Tourism staff. Endorser: The Ministry of Tourism appoints several national celebrities to become Halal Tourism Ambassadors, such as Asma Nadia (Novel Researcher), Laudya Cytia Bella (Artist), Dian Pelangi (Fashion Designer), and Dude Harlina and Alyssa Soebandono (Family of Artists). While Tourism Ambassadors internationally are Muslim Traveler Duo Husband and Wife, Humood Al Khudair, Harris J, Elena (Muslim Traveler Girl), and Maher Zayn (Singer). The appointment of the Tourism Ambassador was carried out by the Ministry of Tourism as one of the strategies to attract the public and as representatives of the Ministry of Tourism who will communicate directly with the public to influence them so they want to get to know Halal Tourism destinations in Indonesia.
In 2019 Indonesia ranked first at the international level after 5 years of developing Halal Tourism in Indonesia as a global halal travel destination by the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) announced by CrescentRating – Mastercard. Indonesia is able to show its potential as the world’s best halal travel destination. Indonesia’s halal tourism market growth in 2018 reaches 18%, with the number of Muslim tourists (wislim) visiting foreign priority destinations of Indonesia reaching 2.8 million with foreign exchange reaching more than Rp 40 trillion.
During 2018, Indonesia has achieved 10 National Priority Halal Destinations that refer to GMTI standards, including: Aceh, Riau and Riau Islands, West Sumatra, DKI Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java (Malang Raya), Lombok, and South Sulawesi (Makassar and surrounding areas). This year, the strengthening of halal tourism destinations is done by increasing the participation of 6 Regencies and Cities in the 10 National Priority Halal Destinations, namely Tanjung Pinang City, Pekanbaru City, Bandung City, Bandung Regency, West Bandung Regency and Cianjur Regency. CrescentRating-Mastercard has also announced that the top 5 priority destinations in Indonesia in 2019 will be achieved by Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara) with a score of 70, Aceh with a score of 66, Riau and Riau Islands with a score of 63, DKI Jakarta with a score of 59, and West Sumatra with a score of 59.
This is what the government has been done through public diplomacy and regional development. The Indonesia Government introduces Indonesian Halal Tourism. Diplomacy by the government and the private sector aims to attract foreign countries especially foreign Muslim tourists. The results of the development of Halal Tourism for five years succeeded to carve the achievement of Indonesian Halal Tourist at the international level.