With just under a year to go before the start of Visit Batam Year 2010, a detailed calendar of events has been organised, new tourism literature has been produced and the logo for the Indonesian island’s first year-round tourism campaign is already widely recognised, said Raja Muchsin, director, Batam City Tourism and Cultural Office.
Located 24km southeast of Singapore and due east of the larger Bintan Island, Batam attracted more than one million visitors in 2008.
The top tourist generating countries were Singapore, Malaysia, Korea and Japan with 640 Australian arrivals last year ranking this country in 10th position, four notches down from the previous year.
With many events supported by the Batam Government, the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and the private sector, the year-long tourism promotion begins with a regatta between Singapore and Batam’s Nongsa Point Marina on January 15.
Traditional contests have been organised from March to December. A Malay art celebration will be held in April with a food festival set for June.
During July special offers will be offered to entice Singaporeans and Malaysians to visit Batam.
The Sea Eagle Boat Race will be staged in August. As well, between August – October a number of “religious fiestas” will be held.
September is a double bill month with culture and music performances and a Chinese Festival. The Indian festival of Deepavali will be observed on the twice-the-size-of-Singapore island in October.
November has four big events: the Archipelago Art Festival, an Asian Vegetarian Congress, a celebration of Malay Art and the Batam Marine Expo.
Fireworks in December will mark the end of what’s expected to be a very successful tourism year, said Muchsin.