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China, Indonesia set to launch tourism initiative
Publication Date : 25-09-2013
Indonesia and China are set to launch a joint initiative in November on how to boost tourism, with the two countries agreeing to intensify promotions involving private companies.
The Indonesia-China Tourism Years initiative will be officially launched in Beijing at a ceremony attended by Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu and China’s National Tourism Administration (CNTA) chairman, Shao Qiwei.
For Indonesia, this will be a great opportunity to capture the growing number of Chinese tourists traveling overseas.
“This is a breakthrough and a more comprehensive programme to better promote Indonesia in China and vice versa. We are optimistic that we can attract more Chinese tourists every year through this programme, as this initiative involves both governments and players within the tourist industry,” tourism ministry spokesman Noviendi Makalam told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
The initiative, he said, was set to be held regularly in addition to an annual celebration of the Indonesia–China Tourism Years, which both countries are planning to organise.
China has been one of Indonesia’s most important markets for several years with the number of its tourists growing steadily every year.
According to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), 83 million Chinese traveled overseas throughout 2012, a significant jump from the 10 million in 2000.
The data also said that China set a new record in world tourism by becoming the biggest travel spender in 2012 at US$102 million, up by 40 per cent from the previous year.
“The tourists that we want to capture from this program are those with particular interests, such as people who enjoy sports like divers, or those who seek wellness and health tours, or MICE [meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions] events,” Noviendi said, adding that these type of travelers would spend more than regular travelers.
The government has said that this initiative would help in achieving its aim to attract 1 million Chinese tourists by the end of 2013.
Despite pressure from the global economic slowdown, Noviendi said he was optimistic that the figure was achievable, considering that tourism was a relatively crisis-resilient sector.
Based on data from the ministry’s information center, Indonesia attracted 726,088 Chinese tourists throughout last year.
Meanwhile, the data also showed that 435,806 Chinese tourists had visited Indonesia from January to July this year, a 20.84 per cent increase from the 360,646 visitors during the same period in 2011.
Contacted separately, the chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), Asnawi Bahar, said the association was ready to help the government encourage more tourists from China.
He said that as many as 100 ASITA members had strong networks with local partners in China, with its population of 1.3 billion.
“We believe that this initiative will strengthen our position as a destination for the Chinese. We hope that the government will also help us to enter new provinces [in China] so that we can better capture the market,” he told the Post.
ASITA frequently conducts promotions with local partners in major Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Shenzen, Shanghai and Beijing.