Bali & Beyond Travel Fair 2016, with the tagline ‘Where The World Comes To Meet’, was officially opened by Mr. Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center in Bali. The Minister was accompanied by the Chairman of Bali & Beyond Travel Fair 2016, Mr. Ketut Ardana, whilst cutting the ribbon as a symbolic gesture to launch the event.
The Opening Ceremony was followed by a Press Conference conducted by Arief Yahya alongside Ketut Ardana, who is also Head of ASITA Bali. They were joined by Prof. I Gde Pitana (Deputy Minister for International Marketing at Ministry of Tourism of Republic of Indonesia), Asnawi Bahar( President of ASITA Indonesia), A.A Gede Yuniartha Putra (Head of Bali Tourism Office), Ricky Baheramsjah (Head Division of Marketing & Investment ITDC) and Welem Sambolangi (Chairman of Parliament for Tana Toraja).
On this occasion, Ketut Ardana opened the conference by stating that he expects buyers to use their valuable time wisely to meet and to gather information about Bali and destinations beyond. He also announced that BBTF 2016 was being held in conjunction with host province Tana Toraja. Ardana then introduced parliamentary representative, Welem Sambolangi.
Using this time to express his gratitude at the opportunity given to Tana Toraja, Mr. Sambolangi said, “Tourists are indeed a blessing for the people of Tana Toraja. We hope that in the near future our province will realise its full potential as an emerging tourism destination. We look forward to welcoming more visitors as they enjoy our exquisite natural environment and savour our famous Toraja coffee.”
Upon taking his turn to address members of the press, Minister Arif Yahya voiced his desire for the BBTF committee to invite international exhibitors (sellers) to next year’s event with the aim of them also becoming potential buyers. “Tourism is one of the five leading sectors in Indonesia,” said Arif Yahya. He later added, “Indonesia has recently become the top destination for Australian tourists rather than New Zealand.” In conclusion, he informed those in attendance that the government’s move to grant free visas to 169 countries has made Indonesia the most welcoming holiday destination in all of Asia.
Another important component of BBTF’s opening was the MOU signing between ASITA Bali Chapter and JEJU Tourism Association. Mr. Kim Yeong-Jin, Chairman of Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Tourism Association, and Mr. Ketut Ardana, the Head of ASITA Bali, signed a document heralding a mutually beneficial relationship. This was witnessed by the Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia and an audience of media representatives.
The annual Bali & Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) has been shown to be advantageous to the development of business tourism in Indonesia. As an archipelago country comprising more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia has abundant tourism potential. The current rise of technology has greatly improved the way people communicate, socialize and share things through cyberspace. This has also helped introduce Indonesia’s cultural diversity, exotic natural beauty and remote regions to the outside world. The emergence of many new tourist destinations in Indonesia means that there are now even more unique places to explore and embrace. Therefore, BBTF 2016 is an essential tool in presenting all that Indonesia has to offer. It aims to bring Buyers and Sellers together as well as introduce other areas with tourism potential to the world market.
The opening of BBTF 2016 was followed by a Tourism Seminar to discuss 10 Destinations Beyond Bali. It featured four distinguish speakers namely Prof. I Gde Pitana, Deputy Minister for International Marketing, Ministry of Tourism of Republic of Indonesia; Ari Prasetyo, the Chairman of the Working Group to Accelerate the Development of 10 Destinations, Ricky Baheramsjah, Head Division of Marketing & Investment ITDC; and Alfons Van Duijvenbode, Marketing Strategy Expert of the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI).
Meanwhile, Buyer Meets Seller Session started at 12.30 p.m. in the Legian Hall of the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center. The number of exhibition participants this year totals 154 tourism businesses from around Indonesia. These include different regencies from within Bali as well as West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Raja Ampat, Wakatobi, the Ministry of the ASEAN Region and others.
This year, to bring in potential and quality buyers, BBTF 2016 is collaborating with Indonesian Embassies in several key countries. It is also working with Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines, PCO from Jakarta, CBI, ASITA Bali members, VITO and hoteliers. This cooperation will ensure that exhibition participants will have the opportunity to meet directly with 220 potential buyers from 30 countries.
In addition to the arrival of many potential buyers, BBTF 2016 also has the support of six media companies to cover all activities during the event. These include TTG Asia, CEI Asia, Global Travel Media, Travel Weekly Asia, Biz Events Asia and MICE BTN Australia. Besides providing coverage in the exhibition area, media crews are scheduled to participate in the Buyers & Media Post Tour. This initiative has been arranged to take interested parties to visit tourist destinations in Lombok, Banyuwangi, Komodo and Toraja. The aim is to showcase the natural beauty, local attractions and hospitality attributes of each destination.