ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt to host travel fair to support Bali and Beyond tourism
Bali has long been groomed as Indonesia’s tourist icon. Now, however, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry wants the promote it as more than just the island of Gods, by hosting the first Bali and Beyond Travel Fair in Denpasar in June this year.
The travel fair themed “Gateway to Indonesia’s Creative Tourism” invited around 350 buyers, comprised of both local and international travel agencies and corporate companies from 55 countries including China, Australia, Japan, the US as well as European countries.
“Bali has long been recognized as the country’s main tourist gateway. With the Bali And Beyond Travel Fair we aim to encourage foreign visitors to visit other destinations across the eastern parts of Indonesia,” the ministry’s marketing director general Esthy Reko Astuty said on Thursday.
The ministry aims to book Rp 5 trillion (US$437.68 million) in transactions from the travel fair, which will be held in BeachWalk Kuta from June 10 to 14.
It has also hopes to attract more than 1,500 visitors.
The travel fair’s committee chairman Ketut Ardana said that although this was the inaugural event, the committee was optimistic that it would be an effective promotional event.
“The majority of foreign tourists are already familiar with Bali. Through this event, we hope that other regions can use the event as an opportunity to promote their own tourist destinations,” Ketut said.
Unfortunately, out of the 450 participants including tour operators, hotels and resorts registered for the event, most of them are based in Bali and only around 10 percent are from other areas of the archipelago.
Esthy said other provinces that were participating in the travel fair included West Sumatra, Yogyakarta, East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara.
The government is currently focusing on developing tourist sectors in 16 areas across the country that have been earmarked as the national strategic tourism zones (KSPN), including Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Ende in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Toraja in South Sulawesi and Raja Ampat in West Papua.
“We want participants from the 16 strategic tourist zones across the country to join the event as well,” Esthy said.
“We hope that this first event will encourage them to participate in the next event,” she added, citing that the ministry aims to hold the event annually.
Esthy said that foreign tourist arrivals over the first two months of the year had increased 12.61 percent to 1.45 million people, from 1.29 million in the same period last year.
“With this event, we will see a 20 percent increase in tourist arrivals in Bali,” she said. About 3.1 million tourists visited Bali last year.
“We are very optimistic about reaching our national target of 9.5 million tourists this year,” Esthy continued.
That is nearly an 8 percent increase from 8.8 million tourists who entered the country last year.
The increased target in the number of foreign tourists would be supported by 2.74 million additional direct-flight seats to Indonesia this year, bringing the total capacity to 21.6 million seats.
According to data from the ministry, the seat capacity for Middle Eastern tourists this year increased 13.5 percent from 1.7 million last year. Direct flights from China were up 34.74 percent from 435,344 seats to 586,812 seats this year. Seat capacity from South Korea increased 31.63 percent from 465,348 seats to 612,560 seats.
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