Top News Indonesia must bulk up on tourism content to better compete: industry leaders By Mimi Hudoyo / Posted on 17 June, 2022 15:00 Indonesia has to switch from destination promotion to content and event creation if the destination is to stand out in a new era of tourism, opined industry leaders at the 8th Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) 2022 this week. Rizki Handayani, deputy minister for tourism products and events, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MoTCE), said at a press briefing: “Promoting the destination is no longer enough in this new era. We, for example, can no longer just (tell travellers) ‘this is Bali’. We have to explain what is happening in Bali.” BBTF 2022 at Bali International Convention Centre welcomes 273 buyers from 31 countries and 181 sellers from 13 provinces in Indonesia This requires the creation of events, be it for cultural, sports or business functions, to attract a more diverse traveller profile, she said. Rizki said BBTF was the right platform for participating sellers to showcase not only the readiness of the country to welcome travellers back, but also new experiences that travellers could expect to find across Indonesia. Underlining the global zest for travel, Widya Sadnovic, tourism affairs secretary of the Indonesia Economic Recovery Exhilaration Team, said: “UNWTO data showed that the number of global travel in the first quarter of the year has jumped by 200 per cent following the relaxation of policies in various countries. (Indonesia) needs to prepare and take action so as not to be left behind.” Creative concepts such as luxury tourism, sports tourism and other new niches must be developed and introduced to travellers through business partners, Widya pointed out. “We need to anticipate and provide the infrastructure to meet the needs of new travellers, who are younger, digitally literate and bigger spenders, and who embrace the trend of working from anywhere,” he added. Widya, who is also a director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shared that there are 193 diplomatic missions overseas and the team will optimise them to “support the promotion of Indonesian tourism”. Ricky Wirjan, head of strategic marketing and customer experience with InJourney, the holding company of several state-owned tourism-related companies, agreed on the importance of offering new products and events to lead Indonesia’s tourism recovery. InJourney is walking the talk with its recent Vespa Day celebration at Nusa Dua Peninsula Bali, an event that attracted 8,000 and 10,000 participants. It will organise Grand Inna Bali Beach Indonesia International Marathon in November as well as other activities with various tourism stakeholders in other Indonesian cities. To support the government’s target to derive 10 to 12 per cent of GDP from tourism between the years of 2026 and 2031, InJourney is also developing health and wellness offerings in partnership with international hospitals, to be made available at Grand Inna Bali Beach by 2024. Ricky believes that Bali, “as the capital of Indonesian tourism”, will catalyse tourism growth for other destinations in the country. Ida Bagus Agung Partha Adnyana, chairman of Bali Tourism Board (BTB), said events held in Bali have helped to rebuild footfalls. Daily international arrivals at Ngurah Rai International Airport have risen from under 1,000 passengers in March to 5,800 in mid-June. Domestic traffic has reached 11,000 per day now. However, he noted that the pandemic has scarred Bali’s hospitality sector, with the weak economic state of owners and manpower shortage impacting quality of facilities and service. He shared that BTB is working with the regional government and Bank Indonesia to obtain support from the central government for affected hospitality players, to ensure they are ready for travellers.