Joop Ave, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism during the nineties was a towering figure and not only because of his physical height. He was larger-than-life as a legendary salesman for Indonesia and its culture. With his inspiring personality he never failed to provide effective leadership. He greatly enhanced Indonesia’s image abroad and his personal contribution to tourism development cannot be overstated.
Perhaps it did help that he stood head and shoulders above most others but his greatest talent was for making speeches. Pak Joop never needed any notes but he could give an impromptu speech on any subject. He would choose his words carefully and clearly and because he never indulged in any repetitions or hesitations he would manage to keep everyone’s attention until he had made his point. Once he finished with a conclusion everyone would perfectly understand what he had to say. Amazingly he was capable of doing this in English, French, Dutch and German. Most importantly, what Joop Ave said always made sense. In any language.
Indonesia has lost a great son. Rest in peace, Pak Joop.