Having set ambitious arrival targets for the coming years, Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism will offer airlines promotional support to entice them to fly into the country while work gets underway to ease the bottleneck at congested airports.
“To reach the 15-million mark this year, we need nearly four million additional seats,” said I Gde Pitana, deputy minister for international tourism promotion development, Ministry of Tourism, who revealed that the government has adopted a WAR (winning, acquiring and retaining) strategy to achieve its goals.
Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali, Indonesia
“We are working to retain the current 7.5 million seats (a year), win 6.5 million (more) and acquire around 1.5 million from airlines currently flying to the neighbouring destinations,” he added.
“On the other hand, we are facing the reality of such airports as Jakarta, Denpasar and Yogyakarta having no more slots for additional flights, while Solo, Lombok and Medan, for example, still have many.”
The way to go, according to Pitana, is to entice airlines to open routes to Indonesian airports, especially those that still have the capacity, through joint promotions.
Pitana elaborated: “The joint promotions can be in different forms, such as sales missions, advertisements in the destinations or through the ministry’s online platform.”
The offer will be eligible to Indonesian airlines and carriers flying into the country for the first time.
Pitana estimates the ministry would allocate around US$10 per potential passenger for promotions.
Meanwhile, airports such as Tanjung Pinang (Bintan), Silangit (near Lake Toba) and Belitung could soon get gateway status.
“We are inviting the travel industry to give us inputs on which gateways they want us to open next,” Pitana said.