Tourism Indonesia is leading a five-day mission to China to tap Muslim travel demand in key areas of the country including Xi’an, Jinan and Beijing.
Riyanto Sofyan, chairman of the Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team of Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism, said the visit to China was part of a drive to help achieve the target of 20 million international tourists and five million Muslim visitors to Indonesia by 2019.
He added: “Our sales mission is a key element of our ongoing drive to increase our appeal to Muslim tourists across the world and become the destination of choice. China is a key market for us especially as we (share) a long-standing relationship, economic partnerships and close proximity.
“Our aim is to attract a greater share of the Chinese tourists who travel to destinations in our region each year,” he said ahead of the mission.
Comprising tourism experts, local hotels, airlines and travel agents, the delegation will showcase, promote and develop how Indonesia caters to the needs of Chinese Muslim visitors as well as provide insights on the prospects of the halal tourism market through workshops and presentations.
Apart from targeting deals and securing partnerships with Chinese travel agents and tour operators, Riyanto said the delegation also hopes to “encourage Chinese agents to include the destination in their brochures and programmes”.
Official data from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism shows that from 2013 to 2016, halal tourism rose 15.5 per cent, while Chinese tourist arrivals continues on an upward trajectory to hit 1.5 million in 2016, up 27 per cent on the previous year.
China and Indonesia are also part of the One Belt, One Road initiative, which aims to recreate the Silk Road and increase investment and tourism among countries on that road.
In the 2017 Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index, Indonesia climbed one position to become the third best performing destination for Muslim travel.