Ministry explores direct Indonesia - S Korea flight

Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - The Tourism Ministry is exploring the feasibility of South Korean Low-cost Carrier (LCC) serving a direct flight to Indonesia as it would help bring more tourists.

"I am exploring two LCCs, namely Jeju Air and Jin Air. It is possible that they will provide direct flights to Indonesia," the Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, said after opening Bali Beyond and Travel Fair (BBTF) 2016 in Nusa Dua, Bali.

According to him, South Korea has a big potential to bring tourists to a number of tourist destinations in Indonesia.

Every year, the minister noted, at least 20 million South Koreans travel abroad. Meanwhile, only 400 thousand Koreans visit Indonesia.

Limited number of direct flights to Indonesia, and lack of promotion about Indonesia in South Korea are some of the obstacles.

"Travel bureaus in Korea do not even know about Borobudur temple. All they know is Bali," the minister stated, adding that the ministry will intensify tourism promotion in South Korea.

He hoped there will be more low-cost carriers serving flights from South Korea to Indonesia to achieve the target of one million tourists visiting the country by 2019.

The LCC is targeted to be realized this year or can at least start chartered flights.

On the sidelines of the opening of BBTF 2016, Asita (Association of the Indonesian Tours & Travel Agencies) signed a memorandum of understanding with Jeju Tourism Authority.

The tourism cooperation between the two associations is expected to lead to mutual benefits and will also boost the number of South Koreans visiting Indonesia.(*)

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