Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Jakarta, Aug 24, 2016 (Antara) - With a population four times of Indonesia's, or the world's second largest after China, India is a potential market for the southeast nation's tourism industry.
        The number of Indian tourists visiting Indonesia has been increasing over the past several years, thanks to promotional activities launched by the Indonesian tourism ministry.
         A majority of Indian tourists head for Bali when they come visiting Indonesia. Besides Bali, Jakarta and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara also receive a large number of Indian tourists.
       A Wonderful Indonesia campaign was organized by the ministry during the Sale Mission India 2016 in Kolkata, India, on August 22, with the objective of attracting more tourists from India.
          Other tourist destinations in addition to Bali and Yogyakarta were also introduced to the Indian people, Dody Prianto, assistant deputy director of the Tourism Ministry, said on the sidelines of the sale mission event.
        "We will promote other regions, such as the 10 'new Bali' tourist destinations that include Tanjung Lesung, Pulau Seribu (One Thousand Islands in North Jakarta), Lake Toba (North Sumatra), Mandalika (West Nusa Tenggara), Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), and Morotai (Maluku)," he noted.
         He mentioned Sumatra as one of the interesting places for Indian tourists to visit as it is located near Singapore, and its culinary dishes bear similarities to those in Indonesia.
         The Tourism Ministry has set a target of attracting at least 350 thousand Indian tourists this year.
         "The target is quite high, but we are optimistic that it can be achieved," Prianto stated.

         During the first semester of this year, a total of 185,911 Indian tourists had visited Indonesia, he said.
   He believed that direct flight from and to India could increase the number of Indian tourist arrivals in Indonesia.
        "We are in the process of planning direct flights from Kolkata to Indonesia as it would make Kolkata-Indonesia travel more affordable and simpler. The flights would be operated by Garuda Airways and it would certainly have a positive impact on the already-increasing number of Indians from eastern India travelling to Indonesia," Prianto told the
         Ngurah Susrama, an Indonesian travel agent, believes India is a potential market for the Indonesian tourism industry as Bali, Yogyakarta, Jakarta, and Lombok are popular destinations among the people of the country.
          The number of Indian tourist arrivals in Indonesia has continued to increase. They comprise various kinds of tourists, ranging from those with a low budget to those with a high spending limit and willing to pay US$1,000 per night, he added.  
     In 2015, Indonesia had received 267,082 Indian tourists, an increase of 28 percent, from 231,266 people in the previous year.
          Of the top ten countries contributing tourists to Indonesia, India ranks seventh after China, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Japan.
        The Indonesian government hopes to receive 12 million foreign tourists this year.
        The tourism industry is currently the fourth-largest source of foreign exchange earnings for Indonesia.
          "Hopefully, it will become the number one as we could not solely rely on natural resources, which are limited," Prianto said.
         He considered the Wonderful Indonesia campaign in India as quite successful in terms of budget.
         "This year, our budget is double than that of 2015. We have aimed for media placements abroad and will put up advertisements at railway stations, airports, buses as well as taxis in India, UK, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand," he said in the interview with the
       Besides, the ministry is also promoting Bali as a crucial wedding destination among Indian travelers.
        "Of late, a large number of Indians have been making a beeline for Indonesia to celebrate wedding anniversaries and theme parties for social occasions," he added.
        India is one of the 90 states that received visa-free facility last year from the Indonesian government which is seeking a breakthrough to double the number of foreign tourists visiting the country, from the current 10 million such tourists per year to 20 million by 2019.
         "We would like the Indians to know that we share a similar culture and heritage. This factor would encourage more Indians to explore our country," he remarked.
        Last year, Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, during a visit to Indonesia, spent some days on the Bali Island.
        The vice president and his entourage visited the Tanah Lot temple in Tabanan district, Bali Province, to enjoy the beautiful scenery around the temple perched on a rock in the Beraban beach.
        "The Balinese people deserve a thumbs up for their hospitality," the vice president said. ***1***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 24-08-2016 19:52:13

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