Attendance down at Bali and Beyond Travel Fair 2015

THE number of buyers and sellers at the second instalment of Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) is fewer than half of last year’s, but organisers said the event saw better quality participants this time round.

BBTF 2015 attracted 176 sellers and 171 buyers from 28 countries, a significant drop from the inaugural edition’s 410 buyers and 475 sellers last year.

Explaining the decrease in buyers and sellers, BBTF organising committee’s vice chairman, Tanto Ruwiyadi, said: “On the buyer side, we were more selective this time. Buyers were requested to pay a deposit of US$500 for Platinum category and US$300 for Gold category, refundable upon completion of the event.

“This is to avoid the no-shows we received last year and (to ensure) only the serious buyers come.”

As to the drop in seller numbers, Tanto said the transition from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy to the Ministry of Tourism had affected budget allocation, which resulted in the loss of funds equivalent to the participation of 100 sellers.

TTG Asia e-Daily also learnt that while it was mandatory for members of the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies to participate in 2014, this was not the case this year.

I Ketut Ardana, chairman of BBTF 2015, said: “As a new event, the committee is learning and continually improving. The new system is a way to do. (Although) there was a…decrease in the number of participants compared to that of 2014, we had better quality participants this time.”

The Ministry of Tourism meanwhile aims to turn BBTF into a regional event.

Speaking to the media at the second ever BBTF in Bali last week, I Gde Pitana, deputy minister for international tourism marketing development, said: “Bali is the major gateway to Indonesia and it was logical to have the event here, but the ministry will encourage (more) participations from other destinations in the country in the future.”

Tourism minister Arief Yahya had also expressed his hopes that BBTF will draw the participation of neighbouring countries, the way Malaysia’s MATTA Fair has, according to I Gde Pitana.

“Looking at the (potential) transaction of this year, the show this year is estimated to generate Rp9.5 trillion (US$707 million), a significant increase over last year’s, which was Rp6.3 trillion,” said Arief.

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