Indonesia targets strong tourism rebound

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Tourism Minister Arief Yahya reveals latest strategy for visitor growth at ITB Berlin 

Tourism represents a significant part of job creation and employment in Indonesia’s economy, and is among the top non-oil and gas export sectors. We asked the nation’s Minister of Tourism to tell us more.

Average spending of international tourist is between US$1100 and $1200 per visit.  Tourism has long been a top priority of the Indonesian government as it is the most multi-sectoral of industries; stimulates the growth of local SME to provide the goods and services visitors need; generates many employment opportunities as tourism creates jobs for all levels of education and experiencea; and celebrates Indonesia’s rich natural and cultural heritage across its many islands.

You have been hailed by WTTC President Ms Guevara as being “a prime example of a government which is taking the right approach to tourism development with strategic investment to support sustainable growth and policies which facilitate travel.” How is work progressing in this respect? 

Very well. Under the administration of President Joko Widodo, infrastructure development often in the form of public-private partnership has included an important series of measures including building new airports; enhancing existing airports and ports; building more connecting roads including the finishing of the complete toll road between the capital Jakarta and the 2nd biggest city, Surabaya; as well as many other infrastructure aspects such as electricity generation. 

As everyone knows, millennials are the fastest growing and most influential tourism market segment in the world. By 2017, foreign visitors under 35 years old made up almost half of the arrivals (49% of the total) in Indonesia. How are you targeting them?  

Millennials are a highly desirable segment because of their adventurous nature which means they are ready and eager to explore Indonesia’s many islands, not only the traditional destinations of Bali and Java. They also appreciate nature and authentic cultures – all of which Indonesia has in abundance. 

We use the most important social media tools such as Instagram, TripAdvisor, Twitter and Facebook to encourage visitors to post their travel experiences as well as using influencers to reach out to their followers.

Most cannot be targeted effectively by traditional advertising and travel trade promotion so of course social media is absolutely key to reaching and influencing their travel choices. We use the most important social media tools such as Instagram, TripAdvisor, Twitter and Facebook to encourage visitors to post their travel experiences as well as using influencers to reach out to their followers. Indonesia’s rich contemporary music, dance, art, and fashion scenes especially on Bali and in the bigger cities of Java are also highly appealing to the millennial generation.

How important is ITB Berlin as a platform for reaching out to partners and press?

Everyone knows the impressive statistics of ITB Berlin as a tourism promotion platform – 180 countries exhibiting from five continents, 1000 top qualified buyers, and 110,000 trade visitors and thousands of media reps from online and off-line media. It is absolutely a key venue for any country that wishes to attract the attention of the global market. And Indonesia has been a very successful and satisfied exhibitor here for many years and ITB remains an important annual fixture in our promotion calendar. The world comes together in Berlin, and here at ITB Berlin there are no borders or walls.  There is a natural mingling of different nations and cultures, and that is exactly the message we have to take home and pass on to the world. Walls must be torn down and not new ones built, both in people’s minds and on the ground. Travel and tourism promotes international understanding, and in order to do so our customers must continue to be able to travel freely.

What would you say are Indonesia’s three “key selling points” as a tourism destination? 

      Incredibly diverse nature, heritage and culture spread over 17,000 tropical islands

      Amazing cuisine, value-for-money accommodation, and shopping at all price levels

      The warmest and most hospitable people on the planet

Hall 26a / Stands 114, 115 and 116