Tourism Minister Encourages Students to Become

Entrepreneurs. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has encouraged students to become entrepreneurs, especially in the tourism sector. Arief said during a groundbreaking ceremony at the Palembang Tourism Polytechnic Academy in the South Sumatran capital that 10 percent of graduates to be trained in entrepreneurship under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism.

He said that the graduates should not worry as the ministry will help them to compete in the tourism sector. He added that the ministry will establish an incubator for those who are serious in running their own businesses, so that the welfare of all players in the tourism sector will improve.

He said the market has been absorbing 100 percent of graduates form the academy, with jobs available in hotels, restaurants, cafés, travel agencies and more. He further pointed out that 40 percent of graduates have even been offered jobs abroad.

However, he said average salaries in the industry are still relatively low compared with those in the financial, oil and gas, mining, property and telecommunication industries. Hotel general managers can expect to earn up to Rp 100 million ($7,500) per month, still far less than chief executives at telecommunication companies, he said.

The minister added that Indonesia’s tourism training institutions should implement global standards, including a mutual recognition arrangement with those in the other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The graduates should also be certified to ease them work in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries.

Arief further advised students to pursue TedQual certification, a tourism qualification certified by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).  Especially in Palembang, he added, he would like to see [the teaching of] sports events or sports tourism subjects, as South Sumatra has been dubbed the sports tourism province. Students from the institution will serve as liaison officers during the 2018 Asian Games, which the province will co-host with Jakarta.


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