Monday, 24 April 2017

INDONESIA: Ambitious 15 Million Target For 2017

Indonesia sets an ambitious 15 million target for its 2017 tourist arrivals according to the latest release from Indonesia.travel, the official website of Indonesia’s tourism ministry.

Quoted by Bali Discovery, an online travel news service, Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, said the 15 million target represented a “25% increase over a still-to-be-confirmed 12 million visitors for all of 2016”.

National tourism arrivals up to the end of October reached 9.413 million representing a year-on-year growth of 9.54%.

Bali Discovery claimed that its own calculation showed the country would close the year with 11.4 million tourists.
Minister Yahya insisted that when the formal count was made, the country would reach a new record of 12 million.

The Ministry claims that the tourism sector contributed 11% of the Nation’s GDP in 2016, creating 11.8 million jobs.

“These significant achievements have strengthened Indonesia’s resolve to aim even higher by raising our goals and targets for 2017 to 15 million international arrivals – or a growth rate of 25% – and on to 20 million arrivals in 2019,” the minister concluded.

n the sidelines of the 2017 World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United States of America, the Indonesian delegation held a promotional event Voyage To Indonesia (VTI).

VTI is a promotional event of IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings.

As quoted from the official website of the Ministry of Finance, Sunday (4/23/2017) explained that the annual meeting of global financial institutions will be held on October 2018.

"Indonesia will host the event that will take place in Bali," he said.

The delegates represented by the Ministry of Finance and Bank Indonesia (BI) are promoting infrastructure development projects, tourism destinations of Indonesia Pesona, Indonesian art and cultural products and culinary at VTI outlets.

Meanwhile, the annual meeting of IMF and World Bank members to be held in the Nusa Dua, Bali Complex is expected to be attended by 15,000 delegates from 189 countries.

Participants consist of the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank, delegates from global and regional economic cooperation institutions, representatives of civil society, private and academic institutions, and media from all over the world.

The largest conference in the world will also attract international attention and is believed to encourage the realization of an equitable and sustainable growth of Indonesia's economy.

Quang Ninh’s Party Committee’s Communication and Education Commission says the province is cracking down on travel agencies and guides to improve the image of local tourism.

The province is famous for its national world heritage site of Halong Bay that draws millions of domestic and foreign tourists annually.

According to a Vietnam Net Bridges’ report that quoted the commission head, Cao Tuong Huy, three travel agents were fined and their international travel business licences revoked.

However, the report did not identify the three travel agents.

The authorities also imposed total fines of VND386 million (USD17,000) on 58 tour guides, halted the operations of 16 shops selling sub-standard or fake goods to Chinese tourists and punished four others for trade violations.
Travel companies are selling sub-standard services and cheating tourists prompting tough action by authorities.

State management agencies and the travel business community have fixed the floor price of each four-day three-night tour at VND1.7 to VND2 million (USD74.8 to USD88), according to the provincial Tourism Department vice director Le Minh Tan.

“The move will ensure tourism quality, while protecting travellers’ interests… further inspections will be carried out based on tour contracts to ensure sound management of international tours.”

The People’s Committee of Mong Cai city (Quang Ninh province) recently withdrew business licences from eight shopping malls as part of the efforts to clean the tourism business environment, the report added.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the province People’s Committee vice chairperson, Vu Thi Thu Thuy, to inspect souvenir shops and business centres which, according to local media reports, advertised as “only serving Chinese tourists” in the city.

The city’s People’s Committee is now reviewing all licences in a bid t crackdown on malpractice mainly by travel agencies.
“We have to create quality and ensure travel agents who represent such an important industry are up to standard and are not cheating tourists… the standards are low and travel agencies lack ethics, which is damaging tourism.”

Media reports claimed Quang Ninh province’s Tourism Department’s tourism inspectors issued 43 fines for violations of travel business regulations since early this year.

Quang Ninh is home to the World Natural Heritage of Halong Bay, hundreds of national relic sites and several famous resort cities such as Halong, Van Don, and Mong Cai.

According to the Department of Tourism, Quang Ninh currently has 157 accommodation establishments from one to five-star ratings, along with 47 travel firms and nine beaches for tourists.

The province welcomed 8.3 million tourists in 2016, a 7% increase year-on-year, including 3.5 million foreigners.

Destination Asia Vietnam recently hosted a series of hosted high-end retail travel agent trips from the US following a growing interest in the market for luxury itineraries featuring Vietnam.

For many of the travel agents it was their first visit to Vietnam and Destination Asia wanted to show them authentic travel experiences using local knowledge.

The groups visited a variety of destinations including, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An in central Vietnam and the capital Hanoi.

The UNESCO World Heritage area of Halong Bay was also on most itineraries.

Destination Asia Vietnam showcased their newest range of ‘local gems’ introduced earlier this year. The travel experiences include sampling a range of local cuisine (prepared by traditional vendors) from Pho and seafood pancake to locally brewed ‘craft’ beers and rice wine.

Another hit was the Vespa food tour through districts of Ho Chi Minh where only locals frequent.

Destination Asia Vietnam general manager, Ian Clark, commented: “Following market trends for experiences that reveal the true cultural fabric of the country, our efforts are focused on delivering uncontrived product that allows travellers to bond with a destination on a fundamental and natural level.”

Destination Asia were the first destination management company to specialize in Indochina operations and the first Asia based travel company owned by its employees. Since their establishment in 1996 they have developed a network spanning 11 countries.