The Jakarta Post
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has explained that Indonesia has identified Singapore as a tourism hub this year as it seeks to benefit from 7,200 flights a week from and through the island state.
“I am saying that it is easier to fish in the neighbor’s pond that has already has a lot of fish. There are 11 million potential tourists, who we can encourage to come to Indonesia,” said Arief in Jakarta on Thursday as quoted by kontan.co.id, adding that Singapore had responded positively to the Indonesian idea.
The initiative is stated in the Tourism Ministry’s program as part of the effort to achieve the targeted 20 million tourist arrivals in 2019.
Arief said the program had been introduced after learning about the success of the Hot Deals tourism promotion in Riau Islands – Batam and Bintan, the closest Indonesian resorts to Singapore – which had sold 700,000 tourism packages within three months last year.
He said Singapore was the main market for the Hot Deals promotion that offered discounts of up to 60 percent from Monday to Thursday. This year, the target for the Hot Deals promotion drive is to sell 1 million tourism packages.
Arief said three tourism programs had elicited a positive response from Singapore: making the country a hub for Indonesian tourism, jointly promoting the idea of cruise ships visiting Indonesia and investing in one of Indonesia’s 10 prioritized tourist destinations branded as the New Balis.
“With the three programs, we not only target Singaporeans and expatriates living in the country, but also tourists from China and India to be encouraged to come to the islands of Batam or Bintan,” he added. (bbn)