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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  19 October  2015  

AccorHotels to spread word about RI tourism

The Tourism Ministry has boosted cooperation with the world’s leading hotel operator, AccorHotels, in its bid to improve tourism promotion globally.

“[…] Accor has been the most eager to enter a partnership with Indonesia, so we’re extending our partnership with Accor from 2012,” Tourism Minister Arief Yahya told a press briefing on Thursday after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the government and AccorHotels.

Under the MoU, the hotel chain has agreed to promote Indonesian tourism brand “Pesona Indonesia” (Wonderful Indonesia) on a banner on its official websites, as well as facilitating the ministry’s promotional events.

The website is currently visited by 170 million visitors annually, according to the hotel’s data.

Arief added that the chain would also aid the government’s efforts to boost digital marketing, with the ministry having bought 8,000 TV spots and commercials in major global media outlets to promote the country, including the dissemination of a recent policy scrapping tourist visas for citizens of 90 countries.

The government has pledged to use 50 percent of its Rp 1.2 trillion (US$88.3 million) budget allocation for promotion from the revised 2015 state budget to develop digital marketing.

AccorHotels Singapore-Indonesia-Malaysia chief operating officer Garth Simmons added that with the cooperation, Indonesia could take advantage of the hotel’s distribution network.

“The distribution network that we have is extensive. We’re in more than 90 countries, 3600 hotels, with 300 million visitors around the world yearly. The exposure for Indonesia is the real benefit,” Simmons said, adding that the company aimed to introduce various tourist destinations apart from Bali to the world.

The Indonesian tourist brand will also be exposed on televisions in Accor hotel branches all over Indonesia, according to AccorHotels director of strategic partnership, corporate sales and loyalty Helmy Kurniawan.

As the continuation of a previous agreement, Accor has also continued to promote Indonesian destinations through its hotel locations on the website, with a special channel to promote Indonesia. For Surabaya, East Java, for example, the hotel introduces the city’s destinations like Mpu Tantular Museum as part of its own promotions.

“Before selling the hotels, we have to tell people first why they should go [to the city where the hotel is located],” Helmy told The Jakarta Post.

Beside digital marketing, ministry promotional events to be facilitated by Accor include the Indonesia Food Festival at the Novotel hotel, run by Accor, in Singapore from Oct. 21 to Nov. 14. The hotel will facilitate Indonesian chefs to cook at least 30 chosen Indonesian specialties during the festival.

It will also support golf tournaments held in several areas, including Batam, Bali, Medan in North Sumatra and Bandung in West Java. It expects to draw 1,000 participants from all over the world this year, up from 600 participants last year.

The hotel has also pledged to provide 1,000 free rooms per year for familiarization trips for various ministry programs to introduce Indonesian destinations to the media or industry stakeholders.

From the previous partnership, the hotel chain has helped to hold exhibitions of Indonesian tourism in Middle Eastern countries, as well as holding a gathering for travel agents from Europe in Bali to sell Indonesian destinations.

The chain recently opened its 100th hotel in Indonesia, located in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and says it wants to open a further 200 hotels in the country by 2020.

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AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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