The Anugerah Pesona Indonesia (API) Tourism Award is slated to return for a third time in 2018. This year, awards will be given in 18 categories. Sport and adventure tourism, water tourism and ecotourism are new categories this year, all modifications on several categories from previous years. In addition to the modified categories, three new categories, namely halal tourism, creative tourism and souvenirs have also been added.
The Tourism Ministry’s deputy head of tourism marketing, I Gde Pitana told Kompas.com during a press conference that the award ceremony could be used as a tool to introduce lesser known tourism destinations around the country. Furthermore, he said it could raise the participants’ awareness and appreciation for their respective areas.
“It has been proven that during the previous two years the award winners are no longer dominated by Bali or Jakarta. East Nusa Tenggara won, despite their tourism sector being still underdeveloped. Next, we are eyeing Riau,” said Pitana following his welcome speech at the opening of API at the Tourism Ministry office on Tuesday.
API’s innovations, aside from the updated categories, include the interactive API app that can be downloaded from the Google Playstore. The app also allows users to obtain information about the API awards, including the award categories, nominees and winners from previous years.
Voting is open from June 1 to October 31 via SMS to 99386. The winners will be announced in November. Hiro Kristianto, chief of the API committee, said that the appraisal process prior to the nominations was based on what the residents promoted of their regions. Judges and stakeholders then decided which items and destinations made it to the final.
Pitana affirmed that the appraisal conducted by API was comprehensive, involving stakeholders ranging from central government officials, provincial administrations (Pemda), tourism experts, senior journalists and residents.