POTENCY OF TOURISM
Lately almost two decades, tourism by the expert of economics is classified as an industry that releases no smoke (smokeless industry) which can create prosperity through the development communication, transportation, and accommodation and also provides relatively promising job opportunity. In addition, it is a business field which does not only have role as an earning source of foreign exchange for the state but also as a determining factor for industrial location which can help the development of impecunious areas in regard with the making use of natural resources.
As an archipelagic country, Indonesia has sea wealth which is big enough with long coastline. One of the most promising oceanic and coastal resources which can be exploited for the continuation of economical development of Indonesia is the exploitation of tourism business. Indonesia is rich in the beauty of coral reef, coast, vegetation, sea garden, and the culture of hospitality. Indonesia is very much ideal for every coastal and oceanic activity like sunbathing on the beach while enjoying the sun, snorkeling, diving, and also exploring the village of fishermen.
For the follow-up of the aforementioned potency, the focus of Indonesian economical development currently has changed over to coastal resource and maritime. This matter is obviously showed by the government’s policy which always considers coast and maritime closely related to the aspect of development a separate sector.
The focus change of development from the activity based on land resource to that based on maritime resource is because of two primary reasons: first, Indonesia is the biggest archipelagic country in the world amounting to 17.508 islands, 81.000 km of coastline and 63% (3,1 million square km) of territorial region is sea granted with immeasurable natural resources. The same thing factually found in Aceh is indicating that sea garden of Rubiah Island is the most beautiful one in Indonesia after Bunaken’s sea garden in North Sulawesi. Secondly, Indonesia development is still dependent mostly upon its natural resources.
Maritime tourism is a promising sector and has a big opportunity to be the source of main earnings in tourism sector. The created condition for the development of maritime tourism of course should highlight factors of environmental conservation for the sake of the continuity of the tourism maritime and national development in a broader scale (continual development concept). At national level, Indonesian government has commitment to execute a continual development concept as stated in Broad Outlines of the Nation’s Direction.
The visiting current of tourists to the Province of Aceh is increasing year after year even though it is not in comparison with the other areas whose tourism is very developing in the whole Indonesian Archipelago. The development during the period of 10 years up 1998 has given a good description for tourism in Aceh. Several things to highlight in the development of tourism visit is the data collecting system, tourist visiting trend, and visiting projection in the future.Tourism began to expand in the Province of Aceh in 1980s. Visit after visit with various reasons of journey begins to be much done by tourists from foreign countries or Indonesian archipelago.