Lukewarm response for TIME 2005
Even though Indonesia’s most prestigious annual tourism event Tourism Indonesia Mart and Expo (TIME) 2005 held in Yogyakarta from 23-26 September at Jogja Expo Centre failed to attract more international buyers compared to the previous year it did a good job of showcasing what the country’s travel and tourism industry offered to a world audience.
At its official close, Meity Robot, chairperson of TIME 2005’s steering committee, said that the event had attracted 124 sellers from 16 provinces and 76 buyers from 21 countries as compared to 147 sellers representing 20 provinces and 102 buyers from 28 countries, who participated in 2004.
One of the main reasons for the drop in the number of international buyers, according to the organisers, was that it was held just before PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Travel Mart in Kuala Lumpur, which began on September 27, and some of the buyers either left before TIME 2005 was over or chose to skip TIME 2005 and go directly to PATA instead.
“We had thought that the proximity of the dates for TIME and the PATA Travel Mart would help us attract more buyers as they could visit both marts and so we decided to have our event just before PATA but our experience has proven otherwise,” admitted Meity.
However that aside, the organisers did well to host a range of exhibitors who clinched business worth $13 million at the event with buyers from around the world. “Since the total value of deals struck at TIME 2005 is the same as last year, I feel the event has achieved its objective and, according to me, is a success,” said Meity.
Despite the lack of financial support from the government, TIME 2005 did well to put together a good programme of events to promote the country to hosted buyers and ensure that the business at the exhibition went on smoothly. Appointments were set up, announcements were made and deals were struck. And that, for the most part, contributes to the success of any show.
Not discouraged by the lack of numbers at TIME 2005, Meity and her team are now determined to make TIME 2006 a huge success to be held at the end of September next year in Makassar, South Sulawesi, at the Celebes Convention Centre /Clarion Hotel Pettarani. Makassar will be the first city in Eastern Indonesia to host TIME. “We are ready to host TIME next year and we will do everything possible to help the organisers to get a big turnout,” said Nico B Pasaka, representing Makassar’s local organising committee.
By Shafquat Ali