Tuesday, April 22, 2014

350 Buyers Expected at Bali and Beyond Travel Fair 2014

The Bali and Beyond Travel Fair 2014 (BBTF-2014) will be held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center and at a separate location in Kuta June 10-14, 2014.

The organizers told Tempo.co that they wish to increase the number of foreign tourists coming to Bali and, at the same time, urge those visitors to Indonesian destinations beyond Bali in eastern Indonesia.

The director general of tourism marketing Esthy Reko Astuty told a press conference for BBTF-2014 on April 17, 2014 that the program of the Travel Fair is aimed at persuading tourists to stay in Bali for extended periods and visit regions in eastern Indonesia. “For this reason direct accessibility from Bali to eastern Indonesian is continually being enhanced,” said Astuty,

The BBTF-2014 is being conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy together with the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (ASITA) as an event intended to become a yearly international event .

The chairman of ASITA-Bali and the chairman of the organizing committee for BBTF-2014, Ketut Ardana, says the travel fair in Bali will inspire and motivate operators in the tourism sector to increase visitors to Bali and beyond.

The theme of BBTF-2014 will be "gateway to Indonesia’s creative tourism” and provide opportunities for Indonesian sellers of tourism products to visit with both domestic and international buyers from ASEAN, Chine, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.

Some 350 buyers from 55 countries and 450 local sellers will participate in pre-scheduled appointment.

BBTF -2014 Website

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Indonesia encourages tourists to explore eastern destinations

Indonesia is a large archipelago comprising more than 13 thousand islands and extending over 5,120 kilometers from its western most province of Aceh to eastern most province of Papua, which is mostly not yet explored. 

Having an official slogan of "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" or "Unity in Diversity," the country consists of hundreds of distinct native ethnic and linguistic groups and has vast areas of wilderness that is home to the worlds second-largest biodiversity. 

"It may well be the last great adventure on earth. From the western tip of Sumatra to the eastern edge of Papua, this nation defies homogenization," Lonely Planet described Indonesia on its website (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia.)

Indonesia received a total of 8.8 million foreign tourists in 2013, up 9.2 percent from the previous year. In 2014, the tourism ministry expects to attract 9.5 million tourists to the country.

Bali has so far been the most famous tourist destination. Last year, the islands tourist resorts attracted 3.27 million foreign tourists, an increase of 13.37 percent from 2,892,019 in 2012.

For the first time, Indonesia will organize Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) 2014 in Nusa Dua, on June 10-14, with the aim of attracting foreign tourists to visit the eastern Indonesian islands. The theme of BBTF 2014 is "Gateway to Indonesias Creative Tourism."

"Through this event, we have designed Bali as a window that lures foreign tourists to visit other destinations in eastern Indonesia," the tourism and creative economy ministrys director general for tourism marketing, Esthy Reko Astuty, stated on April 17, 2014.

Chairman of the BBTF organizing committee Ketut Ardana, who is also the chief of the Indonesian Travel Bureau Association (Asita), noted that the travel fair was aimed at promoting Bali as an entry point to other destinations, especially in eastern Indonesia.

Applying business-to-business and business-to-consumer concepts, the travel fair will be attended by 350 domestic and foreign buyers as well as 450 local sellers. 

Local sellers and foreign buyers from 55 countries, such as China and Australia, as well as from Europe, the ASEAN, and the Middle East, will participate in a business forum to be held on the sidelines of the travel fair.

By bringing buyers and sellers together in a single forum, the BBTF aims to promote the tourism industry through business sessions, a tourism seminar and direct promotion of best practices in the MICE and Leisure management, the BBTF 2014 official website said.

Together with exhibitors and buyers from 33 Indonesian provinces and many countries around the world, the BBTF 2014 will facilitate pre-scheduled appointments and business sessions for buyers and sellers to negotiate contracts for their long-term leisure and corporate travel needs. 

Corporations, travel agents, resort & hotel chains, cruise operators, convention planners, venue operators and travel buyers can leverage the three days of business-to-business sessions to enhance their respective brands in the Indonesian and Asia Pacific markets. 

In addition, to the B2B sessions, the comprehensive two and half days travel fair will have an extensive program of activities for delegates.

Expected to be the most comprehensive travel fair in Southeast Asia, the BBTF target is to generate Rp5 trillion in transactions. "We invested funds amounting to Rp21.7 billion to organize this event," he added.

Bali and Beyond concept promotes Bali as the entry point from where tourists can travel to various destinations in eastern Indonesia, such as East and West Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua.

Eastern Indonesia is believed to have many unexplored and pristine natural treasures, such as marine parks and geo-parks, together with its unique traditions and culture. 

The exclusive tourist resort of Raja Ampat, which is located in the West Papua province, for instance, has one of the worlds best diving spots and unexplored geo-parks.

Raja Ampat has 1,320 fish species; 75 percent of the worlds coral species, 10 times the number of corals in the Caribbean; five species of rare turtles; 57 species of mantis shrimps; 13 species of marine mammals; and 27 species of rare fish.

In June this year, the Indonesian government will organize the Sail Raja Ampat as part of its annual international maritime event to bring the sailing contests participants and guests to the most exotic location in the country, and probably in the world.

The name Raja Ampat or "Four Kings" is derived from a local myth. It has four major islands: Waigeo, Salawati, Batanta and Misool, which are home to ancient rock paintings.

In total, the Raja Ampat district has about 1.7 thousand islands, including the unoccupied and beautiful island of Wayag, which is made of karst or limestone from the other islands.

Since 2009, Indonesia had organized the annual Sail Indonesia event on five previous occasions: Sail Bunaken 2009, Sail Banda 2010, Sail Wakatobi- Belitong 2011, Sail Morotai 2012 and Sail Komodo 2013--almost all of them are located in the eastern Indonesian islands.

Another exotic destination in eastern Indonesia is Banda islands, Maluku province. Banda is perched on the rim of Indonesias deepest underwater gorge, the Banda Sea, where waters can reach depths of over 6,500 meters.

Two of Bandas biggest islands, Banda Besar and Naira, are covered with nutmeg trees. The third island, Gunung Api or peak of fire, is an active volcano that emerges from the depths in a perfect cone, and is rugged and volcanic. 

In the waters surrounding these islands, one can find some of the worlds most spectacular marine gardens with bright corals and colorful fish bustling through the crystal-clear waters, which make it suitable for diving, snorkeling or even simply sightseeing.

Another unique destination is Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara province. The park is home to the Komodo dragon, the worlds only surviving prehistoric giant lizard.

The park includes the three larger islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar as well as numerous smaller ones covering a total area of 1,817 square kilometers.

In 1977, Komodo National Park was named a biosphere reserve by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Then in 1991, the UNESCO named the island, inhabited by about 3,000 komodo dragons, a world heritage site. 

With its colorful fishing villages, coral cays and deserted beaches of pale pink sand, the Komodo park was named as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011 by the conservation organization the New7Wonders Foundation. 

In South Sulawesi province, there is the Taka Bonerate National Park, which is home to the third-largest atoll in the world after Kwajifein in the Marshall Isles and Suvadiva in the Maldive Island. 

The total area of the atoll is about 220,000 hectares, with coral reefs spreading over 500 square kilometers. Taka Bonerate, which has won UNESCOs World Heritage recognition, is a Bugis name that means "Coral Piled Up On Sand." There are 15 islands in the Taka Bonerate National Park, where visitors can enjoy diving, snorkeling and marine tours. 

The Wakatobi marine park in Southeast Sulawesi, the Bunaken marine park in North Sulawesi, the Carstensz Pyramid in Papua, Tanah Toraja and Bantimurung Karst in South Sulawesi, are just a few other examples of exotic tourist sites in eastern Indonesia.(Antara)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Festival to be held at the ancient Srivijaya kingdom in Palembang

This year, the site of the seat of the ancient Srivijaya kingdom at Karanganyar, Palembang, has been chosen as venue for the Srivijaya Festival 2014 that will take place from 16 – 22 June, having been moved elsewhere for the past years, said Acting Head of the Culture and Tourism Office of South Sumatra, Ahmad Najib.

By returning the Festival to this ancient site by the Musi river, Srivijaya’s cultural and historic aura will be rekindled to inspire the young generation with its roots and the grandeur of its history, reported Kompas daily.

The Buddhist empire of Srivijaya (or Crivijaya) held suzerainty over much of South East Asia, in particular of Sumatra and the Malacca Strait from the 7th to the 12th century. It was a thriving maritime and commercial empire and center for Buddhist learning. In Sanskrit, Sri means: fortunate or prosperous, while Vijaya means Victorious. Many Chinese pilgrims would sojourn for months at Srivijaya to learn Buddhism before proceeding to India. In China, Srivijaya is known as Sanfotsi or San Fo Qi.

Highlight of this year’s Festival will be the dramatic performance based on three ancient stone inscriptions from Kedukan Bukit, Talang Tuo and Telaga Batu. The inscriptions describe the journey of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa, founder of Srivijaya to this location accompanied by some 25,000 troops.

The Karanganyar site was designated Archaeological Park of the Srivijaya Kingdom by President Soeharto on 22 December 1994. Here archaeologists discovered canals and a central park built in these early centuries, besides Chinese ceramics, beads and other finds.

Five other countries have been invited to join the Srivijaya Fesitval at Palembang, including Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, Brunei Darussalam and the State of Malacca. Participants will be taken on a historic tour of ancient Srivijaya sites. Another site closely linked to the Srivijaya empire are the Muaro Jambi temples.

Other activities include culinary festivities, and dance performances. It is hoped that by relocating the Festival back to the original Srivijaya site, more attention will be given to the further excavation and preservation of the remnants of this ancient kingdom.

In the past years, the Srivijaya Festival had been held at more commercially attractive locations. (Wonderful Indonesia)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jakarta Restaurant Reservation System Launched

Newly launched restaurant reservation website Qraved.com has organized a special promotion, called Eat Jakarta, where food lovers can enjoy dining in more than 100 mid- to high-end restaurants with discounted prices for 28 days starting next Monday.

Qraved co-founder Steven Kim said in a press conference on Wednesday that the special promotion would give Jakartans an opportunity to enjoy set menus from a range of restaurants offering a variety of international cuisines with special prices starting from Rp 100,000 (US$8.70).

“There will be discounts of 30 to 40 percent,” he said.

He added that the restaurants would offer special set menus with two or more courses specifically created for the promotion.

The restaurants include Italian Rosso at the Shangri-La Hotel, French Cassis, Amuz Gourmet, La Luce and Indonesian fine dining Harum Manis in Central Jakarta and Potato Head Garage in South Jakarta.

Eat Jakarta project manager Ivan Aditya said the foodies could enjoy the promotion by visiting eatjakarta.org and finding restaurants through various categories such as names, locations, cuisine, dishes and prices. 

“The website also features a list of menus that participants can enjoy for specific prices,” he said, adding that when the participant booked the restaurant, it would automatically be directed to Qraved.com for the details.

Ivan said that apart from online booking, people who wanted to try a particular set menu could also order them directly at participating restaurants.

“There is no limit on the number of bookings people can make as well as the number of times they can use the special offer,” he said. 

He said regular customers would not be treated differently to those utilizing in the promotion. 

“However, some restaurants have adjusted the portions to ensure that participants can enjoy a wide variety of food,” Steven said. 

The co-founder said Eat Jakarta was held in response to the social dining trend in big cities, including Jakarta. 

“A study in 2013 shows that Indonesians had dined-out 380 million times at mid- to high-end restaurants with total transaction of $1.5 billion in one year,” he said.

He said, therefore, the promotion was a way to celebrate the food diversity in Jakarta. 

“We want everybody in Jakarta to be able to taste a wide variety of food from countries like France, Mexico and South Korea,” he said.

Steven said he did not have a specific target on how many participants would take part but he hoped many people would participate in the promotion.

As part of the promotion, there will also be quizzes and competitions on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. 

Felicia Setiawan, the communications manager of Shangri-La Hotel said her hotel joined the festival to cater to a wider range of customers. 
“Hotel restaurants have one thing in common, which is relatively high prices. The promotion will give more people an opportunity to try certain food at a more affordable price,” she said. (Jakarta Post)

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 Jakarta Great Sale Jun 7 - July 19


Over 75 malls and trade centers  have confirmed participation during this year’s Jakarta Great Sale, which is held in conjunction with the 487th Anniversary celebrations of the capital city and will continue even through the presidential elections in July, confident that the elections will be continue to be held peacefully, said Handaka Santosa, Chairman of the Organizing Committee,  as well as Chairman of the Association of Indonesia’s Shopping Centers Managements (APPBI).

The APPBI has this year again been entrusted by the Jakarta Provincial government to organize the event, which last year received most enthusiastic response from shoppers in Jakarta, other parts of Indonesia and overseas with most malls offering some 70% discounts on attractive items.      

An FJGS Shopper Card will be issued, and there will be musical stages and other performances presented to attract the public. This is the time when shoppers can enjoy the best bargains, relax at sumptuous restaurants while enjoying lively music.  The event will also be an excellent venue to collect Indonesia’s many and varied creative products, both traditional as well as many beautiful and innovative creations.

This year we expect sales to increase to Rp. 13.5 trillion, said Handaka. Last year, sales totaled Rp 11.8 trillion.  Through this festival, cooperation among outlets and establishments have strengthened,  since during the Great Sale visitors to malls grew by 20%, also resulting in increased contributions in taxes to Jakarta’s provincial government, said Handaka.

And through the support of the Ministry of Trade, Handaka hopes that In the coming yeas the Jakarta Great Sale can be expanded to  include other cities  on Java  to  become  the Java Great Sale,  and further across the archipelago to become : the Indonesia Great Sale, reported antara news.

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