Religious travel exhibition to debut in Jakarta

THE INAUGURAL Indonesian Pilgrimage Travel Fair will be held in Jakarta next week to provide a forum for religion-based travel services, local religious communities and members of the public.

Organiser RajaMICE expects the fair, from January 21 to 23 at Balai Kartini, to attract 20,000 visitors and reap 15 billion rupiah (US$1.7 million) in transactions. There will be 70 exhibitors comprising travel agents, regional and overseas tourism boards, airlines and hotels.

“The demand for religion-related outbound travel is growing in Indonesia,” said RajaMICE CEO Panca Sarungu. “This is a potential market for agents and overseas suppliers, but very few travel service providers realise this.”

To demonstrate the point, Sarungu cited some 2,000 members of an Indonesian Buddhist community who went on a pilgrimage tour to Taipei in 2010.

The World Religious Travel Association estimates that 75 per cent of faith-based travellers prefer to travel in groups, while 80 per cent would like to repeat a previous religious travel experience.

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