The Middle Eastern tourism market is growing in such importance that Indonesia’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism is to announce the appointment of a local tourism promotion marketing company.
Speaking in the run up to the ATM, Indonesia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik said that he had a message of great opportunities for all outbound travel agents and their clients, “Indonesia offers such a variety to our Middle Eastern friends - a magical beach holiday in Bali; enjoying cultural diversity and heritage wonders such as UNESCO World Heritage Sites Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple in Java; fantastic shopping at great prices in Jakarta and Bandung; playing golf with no waiting and at excellent value on international class courses throughout the country; marvellous spas with both traditional and international health and beauty treatments; and overall, a safe, family-oriented environment,” he said.
“And as the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia also offers an environment that is very hospitable and welcoming to those of the Islamic faith.”
Wacik explained that tourism is the second largest source of foreign exchange for Indonesia, after petrol and gas, and amounts to nine per cent of gross domestic product. Bali remains the most popular destination, whilst the capital, Jakarta, is growing its portfolio in the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) market.
“2008 has been designated Visit Indonesia Year,” he said. “This represents a year long celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Indonesia’s Awakening Day - which commemorates the birth of Indonesia's nationalist movement. As a result, we aim to attract seven million international visitors to the country by the end of this year.”
Special events and attractions are being put together across the archipelago throughout 2008.
Wacik said that cruise tourism was another growing segment of the Indonesian tourism market. “We are working hard with our partners in the private sector – both in Indonesia and overseas – to promote a number of special interest tourism attractions.
With its great natural beauty, wide cultural diversity, and an archipelago of 17,500 islands set in a tropical sea, Indonesia is truly a cruising paradise. We are strategically located between Singapore and Australia, and Singapore is now the major Southeast Asian hub for the booming cruise industry in the Asia Pacific.”
“We are actively working to encourage cruise tourism to grow in Indonesia by improving our port and harbour infrastructure, notably with Benoa in Bali, to accommodate a wider range of cruise ships, offer more cruise supporting services, and to make Bali a key turnaround port cruise destination for SE Asia.”