India featured among the top ten markets for Indonesia with 16 percent more arrivals last year. Despite common cultures and being part of the same continent, Indonesia had so far made little effort to focus on Indian market. With rising numbers, mostly from business travel and leisure visitors to Bali, Indonesian tourism authorities can’t neglect India any more. Visit Indonesia Tourism Office (VITO) – India had organised a business to business (B2B) meetings between 15 Indonesian sellers and 100 buyers from Mumbai and Delhi last week.
Toufik Nurhidayat, Deputy Director, Asia Pacific Promotion at Indonesia Tourism, said: “India arrival figures put India on 7th position among tourist markets. India is a potential big market with a target of 250,000 this year. Bali is popular and is almost a must for all Indians visiting Indonesia. But Indonesia is much more beyond Bali and we’d like Indian travelers to explore other regions.”
Indonesia’s market strategy consists of three main categories based on culture, nature and manmade. Marine, ecology and adventure tourism fall under nature nature, culinary, history, religious and urban and country side tourism under culture and visit for MICE, sports and to integrated resorts under man made category.
Ramesh Godia, Proprietor, Varun Travels, Trade and Investments, told eGTMedia: “I could probably have better interactions if there were more representatives of other regions of Indonesia at this road show. Majority of them are from Bali, which is a known destination. One interesting seller was Sobek, the adventure professionals.”
Sobek conducts rafting and cycling tours in Ubud region. Two hour rafting activity and 2 ½ hours cycling activity almost become full day tours including pick-up and drop from hotel. They also provide Indian meal on request.
Saut Siringoringo, Consul General, Consulate General of The Republic of Indonesia, Mumbai, India said: “India and Indonesia have had long standing continuous cordial relationship and share many common traits. There is a lack of awareness, in fact, I was upset when I was posted to India after my Europe postings but was pleasantly surprised to see the magnanimous country when I arrived here. India has potential to be among top markets for Indonesia and we’re open to adopting strategies to welcome more visitors. We’re in the process of including India in free visa list.” He also added that the trade relation between the two countries is $ 16 bn., same as that between India and Germany. He’s targeting to have direct flights between India and Indonesia in three years time. Indonesia currently offers visa on arrival to visitors from India.
Mr Nurhidayat said: “We hosted Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) for its annual meeting in Bali and are ready to host more such associations and events.
237,990 Indians traveled to Indonesia in 2014. Already 107,933 tourists travelled between January and May this year. Indian travelers stay for an average of a week to 9 days.
Written by Anand & Madhura Katti