Wonderful Indonesia takes part in Japan Tourism Expo 2017
A total of 41 tourism industry practitioners and 10 tourism departments from Indonesia took part in Japan Tourism Expo (JTE) 2017 that was held for four days from Sept. 21 – 24 at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in Japan.
“This is our momentum to attract tourists from Japan, we don’t want the number of Japanese tourists to decrease in 2017 and 2018. This exhibition is the right platform for Yogyakarta as one of the nation’s leading destinations,” said Yogyakarta tourism department head Aries Riyanta.
Aries came to Japan together with other tourism department representatives from East Java, South Sulawesi, South Sumatra, DKI Jakarta, Bali, Bangka Belitung, Riau Islands, West Nusa Tenggara and Central Kalimantan.
Tourism ministry’s deputy minister for overseas promotion I Gde Pitana expressed his gratitude for the presence of tourism departments and tourism practitioners at the exhibition.
“We are optimistic that the development of Japanese market will improve despite the decrease last year. The number of Japanese tourists within the months of January until July this year was 287,208 people, an increase of 1.03 percent from the same period last year,” said Pitana.
There are three success elements that the ministry relies on in order to attract Japanese tourists. The first is Japan’s economy that keeps on increasing every year as well as the people’s buying power. The second one is the elderly Japanese population that is known as the Golden Generation, people who are above 60 years old still occasionally travel to Indonesia.
The last one is access, “We received a good news from Japan Airlines that wants to open flights to Japan [from Indonesia]. Currently, there are already three airlines who travel to Indonesia namely Garuda Indonesia, ANA Air and Air Asia,” explained Pitana.
“We will soon have a talk with related parties about charter airplanes. Japan Airlines or any other airlines that arrive in Bali and Jakarta can take in passengers from Indonesia or Singapore for their return flight,” added the ministry’s special staff for Infrastructure, Judi Rifajantoro.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of Bali Rasa Sayang, a big travel agent in Japan, Makiko Iskandar said she is optimistic that Japanese will soon shift their focus from Hawaii to Indonesia.
“If more direct flights to Indonesia are made available, we will sell plenty of packages to Japanese people. Japan doesn’t have a sea and I believe that the people will be mesmerized by the beauty of Bali, they also love the culture of Yogyakarta. Currently, Bali’s competitor is Hawaii, we believe if there are more direct flights, Japanese will forget about Hawaii,” told Makiko.
Meanwhile, tourism minister Arief Yahya also seemed to be very positive about the Japanese market. He mentioned that the ministry’s role is to make regulations that make it easier for the tourism industry to develop its business.
“Industry leads, the government supports. It is what is needed to build a business ecosystem that gives room for development,” Arief said.
“The government should never become a [tour] operator. The government only acts as a regulator, the operator part is the [tourism] industry’s job,” he added. (asw)