The Jakarta Post
The welcome dinner and opening ceremony of Bali & Beyond Travel Fair 2019 took place at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park in Badung, Bali. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)
The Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) returned for its sixth year with more participants from overseas.
More than 300 buyers from 46 countries participated in the exhibition, held on June 25 to 29 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, a high-end tourist enclave. These buyers will meet 232 sellers, coming from three countries and 17 Indonesian provinces.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said at the welcome dinner and the opening ceremony of BBTF at Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park, Bali on June 25, that we may consider the event as the leading tourism exhibition in Indonesia.
Arief expressed appreciation to the organizing committee’s dedication for the past six years, saying that the BBTF could be on par with a number of major international travel fairs.
"Hopefully in the future, BBTF will evolve as one of the major international tourist exhibitions in the region, holding similar status like the MATTA Fair in Malaysia and ITB Asia in Singapore, or even the largest travel exhibitions in the world like ITB Berlin and WTM London," Arief emphasized.
The name of BBTF, Arief added, implies that Bali is not the only one promoted as a world-class tourist destination. In fact, it promotes other destinations in Indonesia.
"Eventually, tourists will enjoy more diverse attractions and the economic benefits of tourism will be distributed among the regions beyond Bali," he said.
As a tourist destination, Bali has contributed to at least 40 percent of Indonesia’s tourism revenue target.
Tourism has also become the biggest contributor to Bali's economy. The number of international tourist arrivals to Bali in 2018 was recorded at 6 million, indicating a 6.7 percent increase compared to previous years.
Meanwhile, domestic tourist arrivals reached 9.8 million people, increasing 11.7 percent compared to 2017.
Initiated and organized by the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Bali chapter, the event is also supported by the Tourism Ministry. The event brings sellers and buyers together in a single forum annually.
The fair's theme this year was Journey to Sustainable Tourism.
"Sustainable tourism development has become a world trend," Arief added.
I Ketut Ardana, the chairman of ASITA Bali who is also the chairman of the BBTF, said participants of BBTF 2019 came from various countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including India, Australia and New Zealand.
"BBTF 2019 will also host speakers who address the opportunities, trends and industry insights as well as highlight the diversity of Indonesia’s cultural heritage," Ardana said.
BBTF 2019 is targeting Rp 9.06 trillion (US$636 million) in transactions, a significant increase from Rp 4.99 trillion in 2014 when the event was held for the first time.
"BBTF is proud to take part in the growth of tourism in Indonesia and be recognized as Indonesia’s leading international travel fair," he said.
Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati also expressed his appreciation over the event.
"The BBTF has become an annual event and a great opportunity to bring businesses into tourism, aiming to generate more income for tourism in Bali and Indonesia in general,” Sukawati said. (mut)
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