Indonesia is tapping into Singapore's emerging millennial market by going beyond conventional methods of promoting the country, as part of its efforts to reach its vision of 20 million tourists in 2019.
According to Rizki Handayani, director of promotion for South-east Asia at the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism, the industry is working with creative communities to explore what millennials expect in a destination and develop ideas.
Ubud Food Festival 2016 (Photo credit: Instagram @ubudfoodfest)
“A lot of young Singaporeans are already experienced travellers,” she said, with more of them now preferring to experience the lifestyle, gastronomy, traditional living and arts at a destination, rather than sightseeing and shopping.
To keep up with the digital-savvy millennial market, Indonesia's Smailing Tours DMC intends to launch an online booking platform that allows consumers to book properties, tours and activities individually.
“This provides them the flexibility of choice because millennials don’t want to be told what to do, rather they want to tell you what they want. It’s whether we listen to them or we disregard this market altogether,” said Jason Lim, COO, Smailing Tour DMC.
“We have to be able to cater to their needs because although millennials normally try to save as much as they can in terms of air tickets and hotels, they, surprisingly, are willing to splurge on experiences,” he added.
For Gupta Sitorus, culinary tourism expert and publicist at WIR Group, a creative technology and branding strategy firm, the real challenge for the travel sector lies in providing something beyond the traditional packages.
“Bali is now trying to position itself as a gastronomic centre with the Ubud Food Festival, (and) other regions also have potential to leverage this market with their own unique selling points. It is up to us in Indonesia to rebrand and revamp.”