Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The expanding of the tourism market following ease of access together with the increased supply of accommodation and amenities over the past two decades has influenced conditions of increased international tourism on a truly worldwide basis. The globalization of the tourism economy implies that the tourism economy represents a great opportunity for economic, social and cultural development for nations. For developing countries such as Indonesia, which have been vigorously promoting the tourism as an important source of economic development, the growth of the respective sector has been particularly impressive.

During the past decade, tourism in Indonesia has been growing rapidly. Currently, tourism has become a highly developed service industry, and a leading earner of foreign exchange for Indonesia. In the year 2001 alone, more than 5.1 million tourists visited Indonesia with expenditure amounting to over US$ 6 billion. Almost every island within the archipelago holds certain uniqueness that stimulates the development of a tourism sector. Islands and provinces such as Jakarta, Bali, Lombok, Batam, Yogyakarta, Solo, Toraja, are just a few among the many icons of the Indonesian tourism industry. For some local economies, this tourism or visitors industry has been the fastest growing and most important industry to date. As an instrument of growth, tourism has significantly influenced more and more local governments in Indonesia to put greater emphasis in developing of a tourism economy in their respective island or province.

Many of the small islands in Indonesia are swiftly changing into tourism dependent economies partly because of (1) most of the islands lack natural resources to exploit for export earnings; (2) their market sizes are too small to develop a feasible manufacturing industry; (3) tourism related industries are regularly small-scale and labor-intensive; (4) the abundance of attractions and arts and culture resources as well as marine resources including beautiful beaches; (5) the close proximity of Indonesia to rich countries and regions such as Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Japan given the well-organized transportation networks; and finally these island communities have maintained political stability and hospitality to visitors.

Indonesia is a very large country, consisting of thousands of islands, and the geographical, social and traditional conditions vary widely. As a consequence, the country produces many products with specific local characteristics and market reputations, such as Toraja coffee from southern Sulawesi, Muntok white pepper from Bangka Island, Java kapok from central and eastern Java, Moluccas tuna fish from the Molluca Islands, Deli tobacco from northern Sumatra, Bali vanilla from Bali, Banda nutmeg from Banda Island and Alabio salted duck egg from southern Kalimantan. These products have the potential to obtain protection from a GI system.

Shortly after ratifying the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Indonesia established its Law 15 of 2001 regarding trademarks, in which GI protection is mentioned in Chapter 56. Since this is a new system in Indonesia, a pilot project was carried out focusing on Arabica coffee in the Kintamani highlands of Bali in order to study implementation aspects of GI protection. Bali coffee was selected for the pilot project because of its reputation for quality, which has been recognized since the early nineteenth century. The taste profile of coffee is considered to be similar to that of wine, inasmuch as its flavour and its quality are highly influenced by locality or terroir, consisting basically of natural factors (soil and climate) and traditional knowledge.


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