Indians look beyond Bali

INDONESIA is experiencing an exponential rise in India inbound numbers, giving rise to a growing segment who are keen on discovering new destinations beyond Bali, such as Yogjakarta, Lombok, Bandung and Jakarta.

According to Statistics Indonesia, Indonesia received 168,122 Indian visitors in 2011, a 22.7 per cent jump over the 137,027 recorded the year before. Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is targeting 185,000 Indian visitors this year.

Sanjay Kothari, director and CEO of Just Holidays Kolkata said: “Our clients are now discovering destinations beyond Bali. Yogyakarta is becoming popular because of interest in the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, and also the Java batik handicrafts. We foresee healthy growth in numbers.”

Rajesh Sethi, managing director of Carnation Travel Services New Delhi said: “Bali is garnering increasingly higher numbers of Indian travellers. Indian weddings and honeymoons held in Nusa Dua and Ubud have always been popular.”

“We are now incorporating Lombok and cruises to adjoining islands into our itineraries,” he added.

Tour operators cited Indonesia’s 30-day visa-on-arrival for US$25 as one of the main reasons for the rise in Indian leisure inbound. Moreover, cheap airfares offered by AirAsia from India to Bali and Jakarta, via Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur respectively, were additional pull factors.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is planning to organise roadshows as part of its marketing strategy for India, as well as develop online training programmes for Indian travel consultants.

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