Indonesia lures more foreign visitors at FITUR Madrid 2016

Indonesia gears up to lure more foreign visitors as 2016 commences. Taking part in one of the recognized expositions in the European market, especially in Spain, Indonesia is back at the IFEMA Madrid Hall 4, stand F30. During these three business days and two consumer days of the travel bourse starting from January 20-24, 2016, the Ministry of Tourism with 11 tourism practitioners across Indonesia will give visitors more of destinations and attractions to discover within the country. As many as 5 travel agent/tour operators and 6 hotels/resorts will promote “Wonderful Indonesia” along with a series of cultural performances and a taste of Indonesian coffee.

“We have big plans for the Indonesian tourism industry,” said Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism of Republic of Indonesia. “During this year, our tourism sector is expected to attract 12 million foreign visitors, bringing in more than US$ 12.7 billion in revenues for the country. And we target to increase the visitors to become 20 million by the year 2019.”

Wonderful Indonesia explores further as a tagline to expose the country’s beautiful nature, unique arts and crafts, music, various culinary treasures, travel destinations, and most importantly its diverse yet hospitable people.

The Ministry of Tourism Indonesia anticipates growing the number of tourists visiting Indonesia, from 9.5 million in 2014, to 20 million visitors five years from now. To accelerate achievement of this ambitious goal, Indonesia recently waived visa requirements for 90 countries, including the Spain. Also, Indonesia recently issued a new Presidential Regulation No. 105 – 2015 to support maritime tourism. This new regulation does away with the process of Clearance Approval for Indonesia Territory (CAIT). Thus, it is predicted that visit by yachts to Indonesia will reach 5,000 yachts in 2019, contributing USD 500 million in tourism-related revenue.

Another breakthrough by the Indonesian government to reach its goal is by no longer implementing full cabotage principles for sea tourists. With this withdrawal of cabotage principles, passengers may embark and disembark in 5 (five) ports in Indonesia, namely: Belawan – Medan (North Sumatera), Tanjung Priok – Jakarta, Tanjung Perak – Surabaya (East Java), Benoa – Bali, Soekarno–Hatta, dan Makassar. In other words, people can fly and cruise with in the country. By having this new regulation is expected to increase the number of foreign cruise visits in Indonesia to 1,000 in 2019, with USD 300 million in associated revenues.

Indonesia’s position in international tourism is getting more established. In May 2015, it was announced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015 that Indonesia has succeeded in rising 23 rungs to 47th place overall from its previous position at no. 70 from among 141 countries evaluated.

At the recent “World Halal Travel Summit & Exhibition” in Abu Dhabi, Lombok in the West Nusa Tenggara Province – lying next to the island of Bali – successfully outranked many other destinations across the globe. It won two awards simultaneously: the World’s Best Halal Tourism Destination and the World’s Best Halal Honeymoon Destination. Along with Lombok, Indonesia’s Sofyan Hotel Group was also successful in winning the World’s Best Family-friendly Hotel award.
Bali Island in Indonesia also has been awarded as Travel+Leisure’s World Best Award 2015 in Asia and it is a Hall of Fame because it has been in the list for 10 (ten) years in a row! Furthermore, Raja Ampat in West Papua Province and Komodo National Park in Flores are in the top two of The CNN’s World’s Best Snorkelling Destinations!

The Indonesian government will focus on the development of 10 emerging tourist destinations in a bid to double the number of foreign tourist arrivals within the next five years. The selected priority destinations include Lake Toba in North Sumatera, Bromo in East Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Tanjung Lesung in Banten and Morotai in Maluku. Thousand Islands off the coast of Jakarta and Yogyakarta were also among the emerging destinations to be developed. The other destinations to be prioritize are Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, and Belitung Island.

During this year’s UNWTO Awards, Indonesia is nominated into three categories, which are: Karang Lestari Organization: UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Non-Government Organization, Garuda Indonesia: UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Enterprises, Banyuwangi Regency Office of Culture and Tourism: UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Public Policies & Governance.

Need more excuse to travel to Indonesia? March 9’s total eclipse of the sun is about as good as it gets. This rare event is expected to be at its best on the beautiful island of Sulawesi, near Borneo. Rich in wildlife and with postcard-perfect beaches, it is the ideal spot for some amateur stargazing. And to complete the awesomeness, the Eclipse Festival, 25 minutes south of Palu, Sulawesi, features DJs, live music and even a secret cinema area.

Some key data:
– Tourists from Spain to Indonesia:
o 2011: 30.131
o 2012: 33.502
o 2013: 38.516
o 2014: 46.669