A tea plantation in Bandung
FIRST-TIME longhaul buyers attending the West Java Travel Mart (JTX) 2016 last week say that Bandung and the surrounding area is great for their clients who are searching for exotic new destinations and experiences in the Far East.
Faten Baini, general manager of Daily Tours Travel Lebanon, said: “To see the places of interest here and (being able to meet) with local suppliers has given me ideas for new programmes (beyond Thailand and Bali).”
This helps her clients who were looking for new holiday destinations in combination with Jogjakarta and Bali, she added.
Pierre du Plessis, owner of Facets – The Tour Company in South Africa, said: “South African travellers are interested in beach holidays and Indonesia offers more than just that. Our visit to mountainous Bandung showed that the people, culture and nature makes the destination interesting.
“Besides, the exchange rates make the destination affordable.”
He added that he would post videos and photos onto social media channels alongside his package offers in order to relay what he has seen to his potential customers.
Meanwhile, Jeanette Hackenberg, assistant product manager of Explorer Fernreisen Germany, said: “Travellers today are different from before. They want more experiences and Bandung as well as its surrounding areas have something for them.
“In the Ciater Tea Plantation, we can not only see the plants and try the tea, but learn the whole process from leaf picking to packaging. This is very interesting (for our European clients).”
However, buyers from Windrose Finest Travel Germany and Reiseservice WTF Austria, who have been selling overland tours in Indonesia for a long time, say that Bandung needed new products as existing ones aren’t enough to lure tourists.
Both companies had previously dropped Bandung from their Java itinerary.
Sarah Hartman, assistant manager of Windrose Finest Travel Germany, said: “For our high-end clients, we need something exclusive. If we can have an angklung show exclusively for our group, for example, that would be interesting.”
Elisabeth Koch, area and product manager of Reiseservice WTF Austria, said: “We cannot offer the same things all the time. The heritage sites and colonial buildings could at least be of interest if they were well maintained.”