For the last two consecutive years, Phinisi has brought lucks to Indonesia as the countrys pavilion also displaying the Indonesian legendary seafaring icon, won the Best Exhibitor Award for the same category in the 2015 ITB Berlin.
Phinisi ship is a sea transportation means since time immemorial for Indonesian sailors who live in the archipelagic country, particularly South Sulawesi, which is dominated by water areas.
Taking the Phinisi ship as an icon for the Indonesian pavilion is aimed at promoting the countrys maritime tourist destinations.
Indonesia has organized a series of Sail Indonesia international marine tourism events such as Sail Bunaken (in North Sulawesi), Sail Banda (Maluku), Sail Wakatobi-Belitung (Southeast Sulawesi and Bangka Belitung/Sumatra), Sail Morotai (North Maluku), Sail Raja Ampat (West Papua) and Sail Tomini (Central Sulawesi).
Indonesia has showcased a wooden Phinisi ship in the ITB Berlin for the past four consecutive years and is always awarded as one of the best exhibitors.
In 2013, Indonesia was the ITBs official partner country, and had the privilege of being the host of the opening ceremony. Indonesias pavilion was awarded the second best pavilion in the 2013 ITB Berlin.
This year, the 10 award recipients from Asia, Australia, and Oceania are Indonesia as the first winner, followed by South Korea, India, The Maldives, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Madhya Predesh, Kazakhstan, Fiji, and Malaysia.
Indonesias pavilion themed "Wonderful Indonesia", was very colorful and had a large picture depicting a stunning maritime landscape of Raja Ampat isles, as a background of the Phinisi.
The booth accommodated 101 tourism-related sellers, a coffee corner offering free coffee testers to the fairs visitors, a silhouette artist, and several dancers and two models wearing "unbelievable costumes" from Malang Carnival.
Visitors to the Indonesian pavilion measuring 693 m2, were entertained and served by German-speaking officers.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said he was proud that Indonesias pavilion won the award.
Earlier, the minister promised that the country would go all out during the worlds largest travel fair.
In addition to advertising and promoting "Wonderful Indonesia," the tourism ministry also built its tourism branding, Nia Niscaya, assistant to the tourism ministers deputy in charge of the marketing development for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, informed Antara on March 9.
Indonesia placed numerous ads to integrate various aspects of selling, advertising, and brand building, she revealed. Several pictures of the countrys scenic locations were on display at the international tourism exhibition.
Hernowo Muliawan of the PCO Karma Wibangga design team, also expressed his happiness that the booth that he and his team had designed came out as the first winner in the ITB Berlin.
Located in Hall 26A No. 122, Indonesias pavilion promoted destinations that have strong 3As, namely, accessibility, attractions and amenities.
This year, over 10 thousand exhibitors from 187 countries
showcased the latest products and trends related to the global tourism industry at 1,069 stands.
Some 1,000 top buyers participated in the annual event, which also saw 23,000 convention visitors, 50,000 private visitors and 115,000 trade visitors, and involved total transactions of 6.7 billion euros.
Indonesias tourism industry generated transactions valued at Rp6 trillion at the ITB Berlin this year. In 2015, Indonesias delegation, consisting of 88 travel agents, recorded business transactions worth Rp4.8 trillion.
"Indonesia is considered as a country with many potential tourist destinations," Michael Umbas, a commissioner of PT Hotel Indonesia Natour (HIN) and a member of the Indonesian delegation, said in a statement received by Antara on March 12.
With the achievements at the ITB Berlin, Minister Arief Yahya hoped that all tourism players in the country will further improve the quality of their services and keep pace with technology.
"The requirements of tourism have changed. We cannot only rely completely on the natural and cultural aspects but also have to ensure a proper technology-based infrastructure," Arief Yahya said.
A political observer, Boni Hargens, who joined the delegation, appreciated Indonesia's success in promoting culture and tourism at ITB Berlin.
"I can say that this year Indonesia dominated other Asian countries at the fair. The credit goes to the Minister of Tourism and the Indonesian committee," Hargens, who is also a member of the Antara News Agency's Supervisory Board, said. ***1***