The Jakarta Post
Indonesians plan to travel abroad more often and to farther destinations over the next two years despite the sluggish economy and weak rupiah, according to a recent survey by card provider Visa.
The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 found that Indonesian tourists planned to take five overseas trips on average within the next two years, compared with only three trips to be taken by global respondents.
The survey was carried out by global research agency Millward Brown on 13,603 travelers in 25 countries, including 501 Indonesian respondents, in January-February this year.
Visa Indonesia senior business development leader Harianto Gunawan told a press briefing in South Jakarta on Thursday that all Indonesian respondents had been abroad for leisure in the last two years.
'As many as 85 percent of the respondents traveled for leisure, compared with only 52 percent in 2013,' he said, adding that the percentage was the highest among Asia Pacific and global respondents, which were 84 percent and 76 percent, respectively.
He added that the destinations were becoming more distant, with traditional destinations Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand challenged by East Asian countries such as Japan, China and South Korea.
'Japan's popularity, for example, is increasing among travelers, with 21 percent planning to go there, compared with only 9 percent in 2013,' he said.
Japan has granted visa exemptions for Indonesians visiting the country since last December, prompting Indonesia's airlines and tour and travel companies to promote trips to the East Asian country.
In June, the government included Japan on a list of 45 countries, certain administrations and special administrative regions that are given visa exemptions.
According to the study, 73 percent of Indonesian travelers prefer to travel in groups, while holiday periods have lengthened to an average seven nights from three to four in 2013.
'Longer holiday periods mean more expenses,' Harianto said.
The study showed that travelers prepared approximately US$2,501 each for their next trips, 60 percent higher than the average $1,562 spent during their last trips. The increase was greater than the global average, which climbed 53 percent to $3,501 from $2,281.
The study revealed that 84 percent of travelers who had credit cards used their cards to pay for 29 percent of their holiday spending.
Private lender ANZ Indonesia consumer finance director Luskito Hambali said the survey opened a chance for his bank to offer payment solutions.
'The economic slump this year has not seriously affected people's traveling appetites, as the sector's players put on various promotions to attract customers,' he said.
Prominent travel blogger Windy Ariestanty was among the travelers keeping up their travel plans in spite of the languishing rupiah.
'I remember seeing two travel fairs in the last two weeks buzzing with customers,' she said, adding that she had not changed her travel plans, as she had bought tickets last year.
Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) show that as of July, 7,033,162 passengers flew abroad from four international airports. The number was 0.80 percent higher than 6,977,452 recorded in July last year. (prm)
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