The Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) 2015, held from the 10-14 June, concluded with satisfactory results as 175 sellers and 173 buyers attended the show in Nusa Dua on the picturesque Indonesian island of Bali.
Buyers were wooed and wowed as they were taken for site inspections around Bali as well as neighbouring islands such as Lombok and Gili Trawangan. Although the number of buyers declined from last year, those who attended this year’s travel expo had been filtered for quality and their intent to do business, according to I Ketut Ardana, Chairman of the BBTF 2015.
A new segment at the BBTF 2015 were cruise travel operators. Approximately 70% of Indonesian territory is water and Ardana said that Bali had adequate harbour infrastructure to accommodate cruise ships.
This is the second edition of the BBTF and was held in June to coincide with the annual Bali Art Festival. The theme of the expo this year was: ‘See the Wonderful Indonesian Archipelago through Bali’s Natural Beauty.’ Tourism Minister Arief Yahya was quoted as having said that the BBTF was a platform for international buyers to shop for tourism packages to Bali and beyond, particularly to the eastern Indonesian regions.
Almost 40% of tourist arrivals begin their Indonesian sojourn with Bali. This year, the target of foreign visitors is 12-million, with 4-million for Bali alone. While the government expects various agencies to encourage tourist arrivals and fulfill tourism expectations, it is also acknowledged that infrastructure in terms of proper road access will be a significant step towards the same. “We will begin the bidding process for the free-way construction project connecting south Bali and north Bali in 2016,” explained I Ketut Sudikerta, Vice Governor of Bali, adding that the province is inviting entrepreneurs to invest in areas that will provide further access to tourism.
The popular island has roughly 80,000 rooms with 29-million room nights to fill. Highlighting the importance of the BBTF, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, the Chairman of Bali Tourism Board, said that such travel expos that accommodate B2B meetings are one way of attracting buyers.
The BBTF 2015 had sellers from various sectors of tourism such as hospitality, restaurateurs, corporations, transportation companies and such-like, with close to 50 platinum travel agents. Buyers represented various countries around the world such as the United States, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, India, ASEAN member nations, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Latin America.