Bali and Beyond Travel Fair, which was opened by the Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, on Thursday, June 23, 2016, once again promoted tourism in Bali as well as other regions in Indonesia. BBTF 2016 successfully brought 168 sellers from Bali and other areas emerging destinations such as Toraja, Flores, Wakatobi, Central Java, East Kalimantan, and others together with 222 buyers from 30 different countries.
Mutually beneficial meetings took place between sellers and buyers during the first two days of the event. However, on the third day, Saturday, June 25, 2016, the expo was open to the general public. This gave consumers the opportunity to meet directly with sellers and gather information about unique destinations that are scattered across the archipelago.
During a press conference, Mr. Ketut Ardana, Chairman of BBTF 2016, expressed his gratitude for such a positive turnout. He also spoke about the various improvements that had been made for this year’s event. “I would like to outline a number of programs that were unique to BBTF 2016. This year we had a tourism seminar, four different post tours for buyers and media, and speedy networking sessions for sellers to meet even more buyers,” said Ardana.
One of this year’s major sponsors responsible for the overwhelming success of BBTF 2016 was Ayodya Hotel. Mrs. Inne B. Pitoy, Managing Director for PT. Banigati Betegak as owning company for the hotel said, “It has been a delight to sponsor an international event such as BBTF, which has taken place in Nusa Dua where our hotel is located. We would certainly like to encourage other hotels and tourism companies to support next year’s event.”
BBTF 2016 rated well in comparison to events held over the previous two years in that there were more buyers in attendance. As a result, scheduled meetings between sellers and buyers were productive. “The total of transactions for BBTF 2016 reached 6,88 Trillion, that is an increase of 30.85% from the previous year,” said Ardana. He went on to add, “The number of platinum buyers also increased. In 2015 we had 17 platinum buyers, while this year we welcomed 77 platinum buyers.”
Ardana later announced that BBTF 2017 will be held on the 7th-11th June 2017, and co-hosted in conjunction with South Sumatera. The representative of South Sumatra Province, Mr. Eko Agus Riyanto, stated, “The government of South Sumatra would like to express its congratulations for the success of BBTF 2016. We have seen a lot of interaction between buyers and sellers. Therefore, as part of our preparation for the Asian Games in 2018, the South Sumatra government is willing to co-host the BBTF 2017.”
BBTF 2016 was not only beneficial for sellers but also the buyers. “It created a unique platform for us to meet old friends as well as forge new partnerships and take a look at some exciting products. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for everyone to network. The timing of BBTF has been absolutely perfect as it’s the right contracting time for our market,” said Ian Gerrit, Director of Venture Holidays Australia.
Meanwhile, another buyer from Germany, Sigy Nguhaus, who resides in Bali, extended his support towards the event. “I strongly endorse BBTF and believe it could become an international event that showcases Indonesia and is on par with other travel exhibitions around the world. I hope that there are more sellers from all over Indonesia together with Bali hotels for BBTF 2017.”
For the exhibitors/ sellers, BBTF 2016 has shown great improvement in terms of providing quality buyers as well as the overall organization of the event. “As a seller, I believe that we need to have signature event for our tourism industry, and I believe that BBTF has the potential to become even bigger and better. I liked the idea of the speedy networking sessions, but I do feel the timing needs to be improved. However, overall I’m happy with the amount of transactions we made during the event,” said Arya Wirawan from Archipelago International.
Mr. Tjokorda Darmawan, representative of the Badung Regency, who joined the press conference, also congratulated the committee for organizing yet another successful event. “Badung Regency is one of eight districts in Bali that significantly contributes to Bali’s tourism sector. Therefore, we are very happy that BBTF 2016 was once again held in Badung. We are also grateful to ASITA for initiating this event. We, the government, commit to further improving the infrastructure and facilities needed to support tourism”, said Mr. Tjokorda Darmawan.