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March 22, 2008

INDONESIA-RUSSIA/TIES/AVIATION
Jakarta-Moscow flights must be resumed - Jero Wachik

The growing number of Russian tourists to Indonesia requires resumption of direct flights between the two countries, believes Jero Wachik, the Indonesian minister of culture and tourism.

He made this statement at a news conference in Moscow, devoted to the development of bilateral cooperation in culture and tourism, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

“I know that until recently Aeroflot made direct flights to Bali; if we want to
accommodate more Russian tourists, our governments should discuss direct flights,” he said.

Now Aeroflot only makes charter flights to Bali during the New Year holiday. On March 20, Singapore Airlines open direct flights between Moscow and Singapore, which will make it possible to reduce the flight time to Indonesia because the Moscow-Singapore flight is about 10 hours, and the Singapore-Bali flight is about an hour and a half.

The minister said that the idea of opening a Russian general consulate in Bali is now being considered. The Island of Bali is a very attractive place for Russian tourists, and we need more and more Russian-speaking guides, the minister said.

He noted that this year Indonesia's tourism slogan will be, "Visit Indonesia Year 2008." This campaign will incorporate performances by different musical groups, cultural events and festivals.

It will promote tourism not only on this world famous island, but also in other places of this unique archipelago. The minister mentioned that last
year Indonesia played host to seven million tourists, including many Russians.

The minister promised assistance from the Indonesian government to those involved in the Russian film and television industries during their work on Indonesian islands.


He said that in line with the Russian-Indonesian treaty on cooperation in
cinematography, Indonesian movies will be shown at the Moscow International Film Festival and Russian movies will by all means be shown in Indonesia in case a similar festival is held there.


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