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Tourism Ministry to Persuade 7M Indonesians to Skip Overseas Travel

December 18, 2020, 02.44 AM – Last year, between 6-7 million Indonesian tourists traveled overseas and Indonesia’s tourism industry is looking to harness their spending power.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio stated in a virtual press conference that the number of Indonesians traveling abroad offers potential for the national tourism industry as it means they are able to spend millions of US dollars.

The average outbound flights for the country’s travelers included destinations to Penang in Malaysia, Singapore, the United States, and Europe.

Read also: Indonesia Airlines Industry Lost Nearly 70M Passengers due to Covid-19

Although the coronavirus pandemic has hit Indonesia’s tourism industry particularly hard, it has also presented industry players the opportunity to harness the tourists that would otherwise travel overseas.

“Let us not be desperate. Their [Indonesian tourists] spending power is massive. Let us altogether find a way to make use of this potential and encourage them to visit Indonesia.”

Increasing Indonesian destinations

Wishnutama suggested that Indonesia’s airlines industry adjust its focus to include inbound travelers or those who travel domestically.

“I would like to remind you all that our strategic aviation vision focuses on inbound not outbound. Unfortunately, what I have seen is that Indonesian airlines are motivated to offering outbound flights.”

Read also: Indonesian Airlines Slash Ticket Prices in Response to Government Stimulus

“That means Indonesia’s airline industry is essentially shipping money that could go to the country to another nation and yet, the aviation sector could help bring money into Indonesia.”

According to Wishnutama, the inbound strategy he envisioned are those conducted by Emirates, Thai Airways, and Singapore Airlines.

What the national airlines industry should concentrate on is finding potential tourists from other countries to bring them to Indonesia and not to find out which countries Indonesian tourists want to travel to next.

“Let me give you an example. Thai Airways offered 12 direct flights from Europe to Thailand last year. Indonesia only offered one. How can we compete with Thailand’s tourism?”

Read also: Garuda Indonesia Launches New Papua Routes to Boost Tourism in Region

To bolster Indonesia’s tourism industry via the aviation sector, the minister shared that his party asked one of the international airlines to add direct flights from Australia to Indonesia in 2019. Some of the cities he had in mind were Melbourne and Sydney.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic that hit Indonesia in March 2020, the plans for improving Indonesia’s airlines industry have yet to be realized.

(Writer: Nabilla Ramadhian | Editor: Kahfi Dirga Cahya)


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