Digital promotion to boost tourist arrivals
The Jakarta Post
The use of social media and other digital platforms for tourism promotional campaigns will help to increase the numbers of foreign tourists by six to seven percent this year, according to the Tourism Ministry.
Ministry tourism promotion development senior official Tazbir said the ministry realized that releasing online advertisements and stepping up promotional campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites had improved global access to Indonesian tourism information.
Tazbir also said that the advantages of digital campaigns were that visitor data is trackable, through visitor counts on blogs for example, meaning that it is easier for the ministry to ascertain whether an online campaign or online advertisements had been effective.
According to him, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya was confident about the influence and impact of information technology in developing and promoting tourism.
Around 70 percent of promotional tourism campaigns were conducted over social media: some of which were carried out by social media figures to boost Indonesian tourism's digital profile.
'But aside from technological integration and the use of digital platforms such as social media, recent visa waiving policies by the government regarding 90 countries as well as the easing of cruise ship access into Indonesian ports have also helped. IT's role is in the informational aspect,' Tazbir told the Jakarta Post at Microsoft's TechDays 2015 conference on Wednesday.
He added that the government must realize that tourism should be the leading contributor of foreign exchange (forex) reserves, even more so than oil and coal.
'Our Pesona Indonesia and Wonderful Indonesia campaigns have been working well. Indonesia's most valuable asset is our hospitality and welcoming attitude, which will never run out, unlike our mineral resources,' he said.
As part of the ministry's efforts to further encourage the use of digital media in tourism promotion, Tazbir encouraged the nationwide creation of events such as Microsoft's TechDays to educate the public and encourage local developers to continue creating and collaborating.
Previously, President Joko Widodo's administration had aimed to attract up to 20 million tourists to the country by 2019.
According to recent data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), 6.3 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia between January and August 2015, which was a 2.7 percent increase from the same period last year.
The government aims to attract 10 million foreign tourists by the end of 2015 and 12 million in 2016.
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