India wants more Indonesians

BUOYED by strong traffic growth between the two countries and an interline agreement between Jet Airways and Garuda Indonesia, the Indian travel trade is seeking a greater share of Indonesian travellers.

Jet Airways – in partnership with Garuda Indonesia, Tamarind Tours and Taj Hotels – recently held its first travel product presentation to Indonesian agents in Jakarta.

Charge d’Affairs to the Indian Embassy in Jakarta, Ravish Kumar, said: “Despite Indonesia’s large population, the number of Indonesian-Indians and some 10,000 Indian expatriates living in the country, our number of Indonesian arrivals in 2009 was only 18,000 or 0.37 per cent of total arrivals.”

In comparison, countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand have been delivering between 50,000 and 135,000 arrivals annually.

Tamarind Tours India managing director Mahesh Shirodkar said the door of opportunity to tap Indonesian traffic was “wide open”. He planned to first work with local agents to grow the market, before opening an office in Indonesia.

Indonesian outbound agents, however, said India needed to raise awareness of its offerings.

Bayu Buana Travel Services corporate relations manager Jenny Chandra said: “Those who buy our India programme are mostly seasoned FIT travellers looking for a new place to visit.”

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