ASTINDO sparks a travel fair battle

THE Indonesia Ticketing Agents Association (ASTINDO) will debut its travel fair in April, competing head on with the established Indonesia Travel and Holiday Fair, organised by RAJAmice.

ASTINDO will hold its fair at the Jakarta Convention Center April 1-3, while RAJAmice’s event will be held at the Grand Central Park Jakarta from March 31 to April 3. Both are going after a flourishing outbound market, but one touts “association” strength while the other banks on “independent” advantage for success.

Fair committee chairman Elly Hutabarat noted that outbound business was growing, especially with a stable Indonesian economy and the lifting of the exit tax from January 1 (TTG Asia e-Daily, November 18, 2010).

Said Hutabarat: “This is the first such event organised by an association, and we are putting forward fair-playing fields and opportunities to members.”

She explained that limits were set on the number and size of booths a company could buy so that the fair would not be dominated by top agents. Booths would also be raffled.

The show is targeting 70 exhibition booths, 20,000 visitors and 40 billion rupiah (US$4.42 million) worth of transactions over three days. Pacto Convex’s subsidiary, Titan Convex, has been appointed to manage the fair.

ASTINDO secretary general Anto Haditono said: “Customers will come to a fair where the top 20 agents are participating.”

RAJAmice CEO Panca Sarungu said his show had objectivity as it was not affiliated with a travel agent or association, had the track record, and was backed by national and international airlines plus Indonesia’s biggest private bank which provides credit for travellers.

Outbound agents are already divided. Genta Tours Jakarta managing director Dharmawan said: “We have decided to take part in (the ASTINDO fair) because it is backed by 12 national and international airlines, which are committed to giving special prices at the show.”

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