Ministry striving to attract 400 thousand South Korean tourists

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian tourism ministry is taking innovative steps to achieve this years target of attracting 400 thousand tourists from South Korea, including by participating in the "Wedding Expo" in Seoul on July 9-10, 2016.

Assistant Deputy for Market Development of the Asia-Pacific region of the Ministry of Tourism Vinsensius Jemadu stated from Seoul, South Korea, on Monday, that the ministry continued to fill innovation gaps.

"We are looking for the slightest opportunities to promote Indonesias segment aboard. It has been almost three years that we have participated in events promoting this segment, but now, we will try again," he noted in connection with the Tourism Ministrys participation at the wedding exhibition to offer honeymoon packages to various tourism destinations in Indonesia.

Jemadu is optimistic that its target of drawing 400 thousand tourists from South Korea would be reached.

In 2015, a total of 359,468 South Korean tourists visited tourist destinations in Indonesia.

Jemadu pointed out that Bali and Bintan were now the most sought-after locations for pre-wedding photographs among brides and also the venues for the weddings of young Korean couples.

"They really like the beach and the ambience of the tropical waters in Indonesia," he noted.

South Korea has direct flight connectivity to Indonesia. As many as three airlines operate flights to two international airports in Indonesia, and there are some 618,748 seats available on flights to the country.

"This exhibition is held in summer in South Korea. We hope that during winter, South Koreans will leave the country and visit Indonesia that has moderate weather and is always a good option for couples on honeymoon," he said.

"Of course, we did this exhibition to promote the country as a wedding destination for couples planning to wed in autumn. It is this momentum that we are pursuing," he stated.

Meanwhile, Head of Asia-Pacific Exhibition of the Ministry of Tourism Rita Sofia in South Korea expressed hope that all engaged in supporting the tourism sector in Indonesia will continue to prepare various attractions, amenities, and access to support the arrival of newlywed South Koreans.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya seconded Sofias view as he believed that Korea was a potential market that could be tapped by showcasing Indonesias cultural and natural attractions.

"The Asian market must be tapped by showcasing the oriental culture, and the countries must be frequently visited to create a joint program. For instance, the distance from Seoul to Indonesias tourism destinations, including to Manado, is not too far, so we just need to increase the number of direct flights," he explained.

Yahyas recent visit to South Korea already resulted in a commitment made by the two South Korean airlines ---Jeju Air and Jin Air Korea --- to operate flights to Indonesia.

"It will boost the number of South Korean tourist arrivals in the country," he affirmed.

Industries participating in the exhibition had also prepared a variety of honeymoon vacation packages. General Manager Globlindo Arief Authority has prepared various packages: Bali Honeymoon Escape, Lombok Honeymoon, Tanjung Lesung Honeymoon, Kepulauan Seribu Honeymoon, and Raja Ampat Honeymoon.(*)