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Elections as a Driver of the Community’s Economy

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By: Tyas Permata Wiyana)*

General elections or general elections are believed to be able to boost the community’s economy. Therefore, it is hoped that the public can continue to support a conducive situation so that the elections can really boost the national economy which was affected by Covid-19. 

As time goes by, the trend of the Indonesian economy, especially the tourism sector, continues to show positive growth even as the election approaches. Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency (Menparekraf/Kabaparekraf) Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno sees the 2024 Simultaneous Election as positive momentum that can move more of the tourism sector in Indonesia.

At an event held at the Sheraton Mustika Yogyakarta on November 11 2023, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Menparekraf) Uno voiced his belief that a series of political agendas, especially elections, would not only not hinder the development of the tourism sector, but on the contrary, would have a positive impact . 

He firmly expressed his overall optimism, confident that the elections would move the tourism sector even further in the archipelago.

Seeing the tension that usually accompanies elections, Menparekraf Uno’s optimism seems to be supported by data analysis. The results of Indonesia’s participation in the London World Travel Market (WTM) event in November 2023 show that tourist interest in Indonesian destinations is increasing. 

Initially, the projected sales of tour packages per tourist (potential pax) was 91 thousand, but on the third day, this figure had jumped to 125 thousand.

This data provides a positive picture of Indonesia’s attractiveness as a tourist destination, which is increasingly in demand by international tourists. Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Uno referred to the 12 ranking increase in Indonesia’s tourism development index, which succeeded in surpassing neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. 

Thus, this significant desire will continue to be encouraged so that it can be integrated into a tourism concept that has high quality and sustainable standards. This is expected to open up wider business opportunities for the tourism sector.

This optimism may be driven by the belief that political stability maintained during the elections will be a catalyst for tourism growth. Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Uno explained that stable political conditions and situations really support the recovery of the tourism sector. 

Not only that, but he is also targeting significant growth in the number of foreign tourists in 2024, reaching 12-15 million or growing between 20-30 percent.

On the other hand, political and security uncertainty is often considered a hindering factor for the growth of a country’s tourism industry. However, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Uno emphasized that a stable political situation could strengthen the movement of travelers, which in turn could open up new business opportunities and absorb the workforce. 

This statement is in line with his efforts to keep the entire tourism agenda running according to plan, without being affected by political dynamics that may arise during the elections.

In this context, Indonesia can take advantage of the election moment as an extra impetus to develop the tourism sector. Full support from the government, collaboration with the private sector, and involvement of local communities can form a solid foundation for sustainable growth. 

Previously, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani expressed her belief that the 2024 election had the potential to have a positive impact on the Indonesian economy. However, he also emphasized that this positive impact will be achieved only if the election runs smoothly and there are no divisions between the presidential and vice presidential candidates. His statement is a starting point for considering how elections can play an important role in Indonesia’s economic growth and stability.

Regarding fund allocation, the Government itself has allocated funds amounting to IDR 76.6 trillion for the 2024 elections. This shows the government’s commitment to holding quality elections and covering all needs for the general election process.

This large election budget not only covers logistics, voting and administration costs, but also has positive potential for the economy. Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani emphasized that elections can have a positive impact on the State Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBN) if security and unity during the elections can be maintained.

Reflecting on the above, elections of course have an important impact on a country’s economic growth. On the one hand, stable and peaceful elections tend to create important political certainty for investors and business people. Political security can help create a conducive environment for investment, fueling long-term economic growth.

However, elections that trigger political uncertainty or internal conflict can raise doubts among investors, hinder investment and damage economic stability. This can hinder economic growth and even result in significant economic instability.

Therefore, all state institutions and society need to work together to create transparent, safe and stable elections to support sustainable economic growth. The main key is to maintain political stability and ensure that general elections run smoothly without detrimental conflicts.

)* The author is a contributor to the Persada Institute

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