The Bali & Beyond Travel Fair 2015, which was opened by the Vice Governor of Bali Province, I Ketut Sudikerta on Wednesday, 11th June, 2015, has achieved its aim to promote tourism in Bali and other destinations around the Indonesia archipelago.
The event successfully attracted 176 sellers from Bali and beyond alongside 171 sellers from 28 different countries.
Three days out of the event were specifically dedicated to pre-scheduled appointments between buyers and sellers. These meetings actually began a day before the official opening ceremony. Meanwhile, the last day of BBTF 2015 was open to the public with the aim to showcase Indonesia’s diversity and the beauty of its travel destinations to potential consumers.
BBTF 2015 effectively managed to satisfy both sellers and buyers. The refundable registration charge that was applied ensured that only serious buyers interested in conducting business attended the travel expo. “In terms of quality buyers, BBTF 2015 has exceeded all expectation. Even though there were fewer buyers at this year’s event, they expressed greater interest in our destination and are keen to do business,” said Girda Safitri, the Marketing Manager for Flores Destination Management Organisation.
Fellow participant, Merita Ekawaty Mustika as Head of Promotions for the Makassar Culture and Tourism Office had a similar opinion. “This event has proved to be extremely beneficial for our tourism sector. A number of buyers from the US and Malaysia have shown interest in visiting Makassar. Through this event they have discovered that Makassar really is an interesting tourism destination,” comments Merita.
As stated by the Deputy of Foreign Tourism Marketing Development, Professor I Gde Pitana during the opening press conference, “The minister of culture and tourism now expects BBTF to be held annually and give overseas sellers an opportunity to also participate in the event.” The same level of enthusiasm was also shared by participants. “BBTF 2015 was more organized in terms of the area arrangement and sellers paid a lot more attention to decorating their booths to make things look interesting. Even though there were fewer buyers than last year, those in attendance seemed serious and the prospect of doing business in the future looks promising. Hopefully next year’s BBTF will focus more on resorts and expose other interesting destinations across the country,” said Jeffrey Wibisono from Alaya Hotels & Resorts.
It was not only the sellers that benefitted from this event, buyers were also impressed. “Everything was well organized. It’s been a good experience for me as I have managed to talk with some hoteliers and gather more information about Bali. This kind of event is extremely helpful for us as travel agents to help us source relevant information about the destinations for potential clients. I have also gained valuable details about Lombok and my agency is really keen to explore the island and its attributes,” explains Grace Ballon from Ritz and Grace Travel in Manila.
“The business sessions have been great and most beneficial. I’d like to see the pre-schedule appointment system improved; as I think it would be much better for both sellers and buyers. In terms of what BBTF has delivered for me as a buyer, I’d say that it’s been a positive event. I’ve got some really good information on products outside Bali that I am going to be putting in for side trips. The market needs to be educated that there is a whole lot more outside of Bali,” said Ian Garritt, Director of Venture Holidays Australia.
I Ketut Ardana, Chairman of BBTF 2015 said that there has been a decrease in the numbers of participants compared to last year, “There was a 30% decrease in the numbers of participants compared to 2014. However, according to our records, transactions have closed at 9.478 trillion this year, a significant increase to last year’s 6.291 trillion.” Ardana believes that this proves the strategy for this year’s event has delivered better results for both buyers and sellers attending BBTF 2015.
Bali & Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) is an annual travel & tourism expo hosted every June to coincide with the Bali Arts Festival. The inaugural BBTF was launched in 2014 with intention to establish a new benchmark for travel & tourism events in Indonesia. By bringing buyers and sellers together in a single forum, BBTF 2015 aims to advance the tourism industry through business sessions and direct promotion of best practices in MICE and Leisure management.
Together with exhibitors and buyers from numerous countries around the world, BBTF 2015 will facilitate Pre-Scheduled Appointments (PSA) and business sessions for buyers and sellers to negotiate on their long term leisure and corporate travel needs. Corporations, travel agents, hotel & resort chains, cruise operators, convention planners, venue operators and travel buyers can leverage the two and half days of business-to-business (B2B) sessions to enhance their respective brands in the Indonesian and Asia Pacific markets. In addition to B2B and B2C sessions, the fair will have an extensive program of activities for delegates making it the most comprehensive B2B travel and tourism event in Southeast Asia.