The Indonesian government wants to increase the role of nautical tourism in the economy. Currently, nautical tourism only contributes 10 percent to the whole tourism industry of Indonesia. However, by 2019 the government wants to see the figure having doubled to 20 percent, or worth roughly USD $4 billion. Expansion should be achieved by expanding the number of tourist destinations across the Indonesian Archipelago. Nautical tourism includes the marina, charter and cruise industries that combine sailing and boating with holiday activities.
According to Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, Indonesia has so far neglected basically the whole maritime and fishery sectors (including the nautical tourism segment) despite being the country that has the world's second-largest coastal area. However, to achieve the government's target of collecting USD $4 billion in foreign exchange earnings from nautical tourism by 2019, it will require major efforts and breakthroughs, Yahya said.
Therefore, Indonesia's Tourism Ministry and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the aim to tap Indonesia's nautical tourism potential. The MoU involves concrete strategies to develop new tourist destinations, for example through marketing and promotion as well as the exchange of information, enhanced coordination in terms of monitoring and improving the utilization of infrastructure. Also a cooperation agreement was signed to develop human resources at - or around - nautical tourist destinations.
Yahya said one reason that explains why Indonesia's nautical tourism has not been developed properly is because the nation had always prioritized safety issues over tourism services. For example, to enter Indonesia's sea zone a cruise ship needed to wait 21 days before it would get the green light to enter the zone, while in neighboring countries Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia it would only take one hour to obtain approval to enter their sea zones.
Scrapping the Cruising Application for Indonesian Territory (CAIT)
Therefore, foreign yachts are now no longer required to have a CAIT (Cruising Application for Indonesian Territory) before entering Indonesia. The government scrapped this requirement in early 2016. Yachts can now enter Indonesia's sea zone freely with no special procedures to follow other than registration at the customs when you arrive at the first port. Here the captain is required to report to the authorities all yacht documentation and crew passports. Also when leaving Indonesia the captain must report all yacht documentation and crew passports.
According to Yahya, the scrapping of the CAIT led to a 100 percent increase of nautical tourists in Indonesia. While in 2015 a total of 750 yachts entered Indonesia, the figure rose to 1,500 yachts in 2016.