Fri, 18 Apr 2008
A group of tourism and travel industry associations will team up to hold what will be the country's largest tourism and travel exhibition.

The exhibition, called the Indonesia Tourism and Travel Fair 2008, is expected to attract 10,000 local visitors and 150 foreign buyers. It is projected to secure a total of US$10 million in business transactions.

"The Indonesia Tourism and Travel Fair will be a place where industry players can showcase the rich variety of marketable tourism and culture sources," Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said at the unveiling of the plan in Jakarta on Thursday.

Wacik said the fair would be supported by 300 participants and would exhibit a wide range of options for thematic holiday destinations, restaurants, accommodation, transport, investment, museums and many others.

The industry associations participating in the fair are the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association, the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents Association, the Indonesia Congress and Convention Association and the Indonesia National Air Carriers Association.

The fair, which will be held between Sept. 11 and 14, has the support of all tourism and travel authorities in the central and regional governments, as well as that of state-owned airline Garuda Indonesia Airways.

According to Wacik, the government is expecting to attract seven million foreign visitors this year, worth a total of $6.7 billion in foreign exchange.

"We are very optimistic about increasing the number of arrivals by 27 percent to seven million this year, from five and a half million last year, who brought in $4.45 billion," he said.

The government said it would support the Indonesian tourism industry by holding promotional activities abroad, allowing more foreign airlines to land directly in Bali, issuing "visas on arrival" and preparing tourist destinations.

"In the travel and tourism industry, the private sector knows best which potential markets to target, while the government acts as the facilitator to support its growth," he said, adding that good cooperation between players in the industry is essential.

The 2008 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index released by the World Economic Forum ranks Indonesia as 80th out of 130 countries and urges the country to develop its tourism infrastructure to attract more international tourists. (rff)



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