Bali inbound travel fair urged to go big


Tanah Lot, a rock formation, in Bali

INDONESIA’s tourism authority wants Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) to grow from an inbound travel mart into an international marketplace by next year.

BBTF, which will take place from June 22 to 26 this year, was initially launched in 2014 to promote destinations in Indonesia using Bali as a gateway.

Speaking at the launch of BBTF 2016 last night, Arief Yahya, Indonesia’s minister of tourism, said: “I understand the organiser’s fear (of competition with international exhibitors), but trust me, the bigger and the more choices a marketplace offers, the more buyers will come and the busier the mart will be.

“These travel industry players need places to sell their products. If we do not provide the place, other countries will and that means a loss for us. Besides, many buyers are also sellers (as they do inbound and outbound businesses), so it is better for us to provide space for them here.”

The show last year generated 5.2 trillion rupiah (US$400 million) and is expected to generate 9.3 trillion rupiah this year.

According to Arief, “this is higher than the potential transaction Indonesia generated from ITB Berlin this year,” stating that ITB Berlin 2015 generated 4.2 trillion rupiah and grew to 6.5 trillion rupiah this year.

As such, the minister said BBTF was ready to open up for international travel suppliers and consolidators to come as sellers.

I Ketut Ardana, chairman of BBTF’s organising committee, said there were 309 buyers from 42 countries registered for this year’s fair as of yesterday, higher than the expected 275.

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