Indonesia Reaches Out to Malaysian Tourists

Rolling up the sleeves of her long black robe to reveal a scar from a cigarette burn on her arm, refugee Sara shows how her husband pressed a pillow over her face to shut her up when he attacked her. (Reuters Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 12:53 PM April 20, 2017
Category : Tourism

Jakarta. Indonesia will hold a sales mission event in Seremban, Malacca and Johor Bahru in Malaysia on April 26-28 to attract tourists and tourism industry players from the neighboring country.

The three cities were chosen because of their location. Seremban and Malacca are close to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, while Johor Bahru has direct flights to Indonesia and can be reached on a ferry from Riau Islands in Sumatra.

"Malaysia is a potential market for Indonesian tourism. Besides our geographical closeness, we also have cultural similarities," I Gde Pitana, deputy for foreign marketing development at the Ministry of Tourism, said in a statement on Thursday (20/04).

Malaysia is the fourth main visitor to Indonesia, after China, Singapore and Australia.

According to data from the ministry, in 2015, the number of Malaysian tourists reached 1,200,202 people. In 2016, the number was 1,225,458.

"It's time to increase the number of Malaysian visitors, our target is 1,772,000 people," Pitana said.

To reach the target, the ministry will bring 20 tourism industry players such as travel agents and hoteliers from Indonesia's main destinations for the Malaysian market — Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau Islands, Jambi, Jakarta, East Java, Yogyakarta, Bali and South Sulawesi.

There will also be a promotional event for the government's priority destinations, the "10 New Balis," which include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Thousand Islands in Jakarta, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park in East Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi and Morotai in North Maluku.

"Tour packages to the 10 New Balis will be offered to 30 buyers in each city [of the sales mission]. We collaborate with VITO [Visit Indonesia Tourism Office] in Malaysia and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents [MATTA], which is the largest travel agents association in Malaysia," Pitana said.

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