Affordable fares, love for experiences drive Indonesians’ travel spend

Japan is a popular destination for Indonesia's outbound travellers; Enkoji Temple in Kyoto pictured

Indonesia’s tourism has steadily risen to become an impressive growth sector, with expenditure for both outbound and domestic trips growing by 10 per cent annually in recent years and surging 15 per cent last year, revealed Indonesia’s major Bank BCA data.

Japan and Singapore are leading outbound destinations among Indonesians while the US has climbed considerably to reach third place, according to BCA.

Japan is a popular destination for Indonesia’s outbound travellers; Enkoji Temple in Kyoto pictured

I Ketut Alam Wangsawijaya, senior vice president consumer business of BCA, said: “This strong performance reflects people’s consumption patterns shifting from ‘goods-based’ to ‘experience-based’.”

Wangsawijaya added that the market was also stimulated by the rise of airlines and hotels offering low prices to travel companies, which could in turn create affordable vacation packages. He believes the trend could persist as many banks now provide installment options for travel spending.

This is reflected in the ASTINDO Fair held last weekend, where members of ASTINDO (Association of the Airline Ticketing Companies in Indonesia) members offered discounts of up to 50 percent for air tickets.

ASTINDO Travel Fair 2018 committee chairman Rudiana, said: “We are optimistic that we will be able to generate transaction value of up to 200 billion rupiah (US$15 million), up 25 per cent from last year’s revenue of 160 billion rupiah.” At press time, the real value was still being compiled.

Putu Ayu Aristyadewi, group vice president marketing and communications of Smailing Tours & Travel agrees that experiential travel is highly sought after by the domestic market. The company hopes to nurture the trend with tailor-made products and better services.

“Even when travellers visit popular destinations like Bali, they still want to (discover) new hidden gems, and we are trying to fulfill it by developing new tours in parts of the island that are less well-known,” she said.

For Smailing Tour, Japan dominates the outbound demand, making up over 40 per cent of the total market. Singapore followed as its second most popular destination in 2017.

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