Consumer fairs drive appetite for travel among Indonesians

THE growing number of consumer travel fairs in Indonesia are playing a significant role in creating a low-season market, with Indonesians enticed by cheap airfares, hotel offers and zero per cent interest on instalments for up to six months or more

Speaking at the recent Indonesia Travel and Holiday Fair (ITHF) 2013 in Jakarta, RajaMICE CEO, Panca Sarungu, said: “People are taking advantage of special prices during the show, which can be between 25 per cent to 50 per cent.”

Transactions during the three-day show reached Rp60 billion (US$6.3 million), 15 per cent higher than the previous show, he estimated.

“Travelling has become a lifestyle choice now. People do not only travel during the peak seasons but also during the low season.” Panca  added. For this reason, the semi-annual ITHF was held in February this year instead of before the school holidays from June to July.

Traditionally high seasons are during school vacations, Lebaran and the year-end period.

Dwidaya Tours & Travel managing director, Effendy Dharmawan, said: “Indonesians nowadays can travel out of the country three times or more.

“Families tend to travel during the peak seasons as all members are on holiday, while low-season offers usually attract professionals, office staff travelling with colleagues, incentive groups, as well as retired people travelling as couples or with friends of the same age.”

Indonesia’s outbound and domestic travel has grown significantly, aided by improved domestic and regional connectivity. According to Bank Indonesia, outbound tourists from Indonesia climbed to 7.7 million in 2012 from 7.2 million in 2011. Meanwhile, domestic tourists grew from 236 million in 2011 to 245 million last year.

Bank BNI general manager cards business, Dodit Probojakti, observed a similar trend. Credit card spending by 1.7 million BNI cardholders last year totalled Rp18 trillion and travel-related spending contributed 16 per cent or around Rp2.8 trillion.

“Travel-related businesses have been growing fast in Indonesia. The opening of Makassar as an (eastern Indonesia) hub (by a number of airlines), for example, have increased traffic movements within the area, which is reflected in the growth of credit card travel-related spending there,” he said.

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