"There are several regions in Indonesia which have world-class tourist destinations."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The rise of Chinese outbound tourism has lured Indonesia to focus its tourism campaigns on China by holding the first-ever Indonesia-only tourism exhibition in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou from November 1 to 4.

Called `InFair 2012`, the expo has 120 booths displaying a wide range of tourism destinations, investment and trade opportunities.

"There are several regions in Indonesia which have world-class tourist destinations. They will be put on display at the expo by applying an exhibition concept incorporated with state-of-the-art visual multi-media technology," acting Indonesian Consul General in Guangzhou Gantosori Tanjung said on Sunday.

The four-day expo is taking place in 5,000 sq meters of space at Yiwu International Trade Center. The expo site is divided into10 zones, including Wonderful History, Nature and Beauty, Wonderful Culinary, Wonderful Destination, Wonderful Resources, Wonderful Craft, Wonderful Indonesia, Wonderful Batik, Wonderful Culture and Entrance.

The Wonderful History area displays the history of China`s entry into Indonesia and the Indonesia-China culture in many aspects, while the Nature and Beauty section highlights the beauty of Indonesia`s 13 most-visited tourist destinations.

In general, the expo is aimed at attracting as many Chinese tourists as possible to visit a number of tourist destinations in Indonesia, engage in trading of creative products with local counterparts, and investing in the country, he said.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the expo will attract 50 thousand visitors, including prospective shopping tourists, investors, and Indonesia-China relation observers, along with 150 thousand general visitors, including the media.

By holding the expo, more Chinese tourists will visit Indonesia, ministry officials said.

For the past few years, China has been leading the trend in global outbound travelers thanks to the expansion of China`s middle class and the relaxation of visa application procedures.

The China Tourism Academy put the number of Chinese outbound travelers in 2011 at approximately 70 million, an increase of more than 20 percent from 57.4 million in 2010. The academy has predicted about 78 million Chinese will travel overseas and spend a record high US$80 billion this year.

The World Tourism Organisation has also predicted that the number of overseas trips made by the Chinese public will surge from 70 million last year to 100 million by the end of the decade; starting with only 5 million overseas trips 15 years ago.

With the high amount of spending on international travel, the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market expects China will overtake Germany and the United States as the world`s largest source of outbound travelers by the end of this year.

China is one of the main markets for Indonesian tourism, besides Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and South Korea. Data from the Indonesian Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia in the first eight months of this year rose 25.54 percent to 412,698 over the same period last year.

Based on BPS data, the number of Chinese tourists rose by 24.19 percent in the year ending September 30, 2012, representing the second largest block of tourists visiting Indonesia after Egyptians, at 35.74 percent.

In an effort to attract more Chinese tourists, Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu met with Country Manager of Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer (VITO) for China Janet Huang and managers of travel agents and representatives of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia in Shanghai on September 27, 2012 on the sidelines of the Seatrade All Asia Cruise Convention, where she was a speaker.

The meeting was aimed at increasing the number of Chinese tourists as one of the main targets of Indonesian tourism campaigns.

Indonesia has set itself a target of attracting 600 thousand Chinese tourists for this year.

Further, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia is expected to increase to 1 million next year, along with the rise of Chinese outbound tourism.

"Indonesia and China have signed a cooperation agreement to promote each other`s tourism. So we are optimistic about the target," Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu said some time ago.

The number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Indonesia fluctuates. During the high season, particularly the holiday season, Indonesia-bound airlines are fully booked.

Additionally, to deal with a decline in the number of Chinese tourist arrivals during the low season, during the meeting the representative of Garuda Indonesia in China proposed to the tourism and creative economy minister to offer special interest tour packages, including golf packages and meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE).

China has also become a target of the `Beyond Bali` tourism campaign which promotes other tourist destinations in Indonesia, with Bali as a hub. The other targets of the campaign are Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and South Korea. Bali and Yogyakarta have been favourite destinations of Chinese tourists.

Reporter: by Suharto
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2012