Europe still top destination for Indonesian outbound

EUROPE continues to be the top holiday destination for Indonesians, while Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Turkey also rank high on the popularity scale.

Speaking to TTG Asia e-Daily at the ASTINDO International Travel Fair (AITF) over the weekend, ASTINDO executive chairman and Golden Rama Tours & Travel president director Anto Haditono said: “Europe has always been a favourite destination. The recent improvement of the visa application process (to enter Europe), from two weeks to three days, has made the Schengen states even more attractive.”

Panorama Tours Indonesia managing director-Leisure Travel Management, Meity Lukito, begged to differ: “I think it is the improving (Indonesian) economic condition that is driving traffic to Europe. (As the shorter visa application process is newly implemented), not everyone is informed about the new visa policy yet.”

Packages to Europe accounted for 40 per cent of Panorama Tours’ sales during AITF, while Turkey contributed 20 per cent of overall business, according to Lukito. Turkey packages have been selling well in recent years, drawing seasoned travellers looking for new destinations.

Meanwhile, WITA Tours director of sales and marketing, Rudiana noted a growing interest among Indonesia’s high-end segment in visiting far-flung exotic destinations such as Iceland.

“This is a niche market of travellers who have ‘been there, seen all’, so they are looking for new places to visit. Often, they travel with their families, spend between US$5,000 and US$8,000 per person, and stay up to 10 days.”

While longhaul travel has its charm, tried-and-tested neighbouring destinations continue to attract flocks of Indonesian visitors.

“Singapore’s new integrated resorts have attracted a lot of (family) travellers, while Malaysia remains in the eyes of the travelling public because it offers more affordable accommodation,” said ASTINDO’s Haditono.

Meanwhile, Thailand was heavily promoting itself at AITF, where a four-day Bangkok-Pattaya package including accommodation cost as low as US$140 per pax.

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