Taleb Rifai: Propitious Potential

Many speak of economic and geopolitical doom and gloom. But the secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) acknowledges that the ASEAN tourism sector as the bloc has great potential to flourish. In his remarks at the opening ceremony of the 15th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manado, North Sulawesi last January, UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai says that Asia’s share of international tourism by the year 2030 will grow from 20 to 30 percent. “And the good news is Sou … [Read more...]

Mari Elka Pangestu: Boosting Creativity

Tourism sector is a fertile environment for entrepreneurship. In the case of Indonesia, it has the potential to grow small and medium businesses and to better position the country on the world’s economic map, according to Mari Elka Pangestu. “Indonesia needs market diversification to anticipate the decreasing number of tourists from the West, mainly impacted from the unfavorable economic conditions in European countries and the United States,” Mari Elka Pangestu, the newly elected Minister of … [Read more...]

ASEAN Tourism Potential for Economic Growth

Secretary General of UNWTO (the United Nations World Tourism Organization) Taleb Rifai expressed his optimism that the tourism sector is one of the big potentials for ASEAN countries to boost their economic growth.  Speaking in front of a group of journalists at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012, which is taking place in Manado from January 8 to 15, Rifai said he was delighted that UNWTO has developed a strong relationship with ASEAN.   To help ASEAN countries realize such a propitious potential i … [Read more...]


Buckle up for an excursion to this vibrant Indonesian town a couple of hours’ drive from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta WORDS  AULIA R SUNGKAR  PHOTOGRAPHY TIMUR ANGIN Located some 150km south-east of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province has a quaint atmosphere. With a population of approximately 2.5 million, Bandung has a laid-back lifestyle that is different from the country’s capital with all its hustle and bustle. Just a two-hour drive from Jakarta puts you within … [Read more...]

The Lonely Rickshaws

Fancy taking a bajaj from Jakarta all the way up to Thailand? No, we didn’t think so…   Powered only by diminutive 175cc motorised rickshaws (which are known to Jakarta residents by their brand name of bajaj), a group of thrill seekers recently tackled an arduous trek from Jakarta all the way to Krabi in Thailand as they rose to the challenge of the first ever ASEAN Rickshaw Run. Looking perhaps a trifle fatigued but still smiling, the run’s participants finally sputtered towards the finishin … [Read more...]

Hotel Tugu: The Romance of History

Featuring the legacy of Indonesian heritage with first-class luxury and service, the presence of Hotel Tugu in four regions in the archipelago has won the heart of worldwide prominent guests. Also known as a monument to the art and romance of Indonesian ancient history, Hotel Tugu has developed a concept that displays historical and artistic objects, allowing guests to have a distinguished experience that a common hotel does not facilitate. It is such a cultural haven, indeed, especially … [Read more...]

End of a Cycle

This form of three-wheeled public transport is vanishing from the streets of Jakarta. Fifty-seven-year-old becak (rickshaw) rider Dulatif regularly sits inside his vehicle from dawn to dusk on the corner of Larangan Street, in Ciledug, Tangerang, on the outskirts of western Jakarta. “It’s IDR5,000 (S$0.70) for travelling a distance less than 600m. And I usually charge my customers IDR10,000 (S$1.40) for a distance up to 2km,” he says. On average, he earns about IDR35,000 (S$5.90) per day, w … [Read more...]

Grand Park Orchard: Redefining Luxury & Style

A fast-growing chain of city centre hotels in Asia Pacific, Park Hotels Group is ready to serve worldwide distinguished guests from its very best flagship hotel, Grand Park Orchard. Set in the finest location of Singapore’s most pulsating shopping district of Orchard Road, the 11-storey hotel is set to be an iconic landmark with its breathtaking herringbone-design exterior glass facade and a show stopping media wall. Recently opened on August 8, 2010, Grand Park Orchard took the guests … [Read more...]

2010 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX: Boosting the Formula for Fun

Having successfully hosted the first ever night race in Grand Prix history in 2008, Singapore is now gearing up to host the 2010 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX. Held from 24 to 26 September 2010, the spectacular grand prix is set turn the world’s attention to the glamour and non-stop action at the heart of Singapore at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Since its debut, the Marina Bay Street Circuit has caught the attention of an international audience with a spectacular view of c … [Read more...]

High on Nature

Strap on your boots to explore the natural wonders of Java’s Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. After a 3am wake-up call, we’re greeted by the fresh pre-dawn breeze and the spectacular panorama of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Even the half hour shivering in the dark waiting for the beautiful sunrise over Mount Bromo is worth the excitement. It’s a two-hour drive from Malang before another 30-minute jeep ride to reach the scenic lookout at Mount Penanjakan. Because it’s the holiday s … [Read more...]