In cooperation with national tourists and airline associations, Indonesian government will hold International Tourist and Travel Fair (ITTF) slated for Oct. 2 this year, Tourism and Cultural Minister Jero Wacik said here on Tuesday.
The fair is aimed at improving the country's tarnished image after two bombings damaged two luxury hotels in the country's capital Jakarta on July 17, the minister said.
"The ITTF would be an annual program aimed at promoting Indonesian tourism to international community," Jero Wacik said in his remarks to the 2009 ITTF here.
He said the ITTF is a strategic momentum for the government to achieve its goal of 6.5 million tourists throughout this year. The government's target figure is a bit higher than last year's figure of 6.43 million.
Jero also said besides the ITTF, his ministry will also invite foreign journalists to report what really happened in Indonesia after the bombings so as to convince international community that Indonesia is still comfortable, safe, not affected by the attacks.
"They (foreign journalists) will be free to write everything they see in Indonesia," Jero added.
In line with the ministry's plan, Indonesia's flagship airline, Garuda Indonesia, will launch flight service to European countries after the authority in the European Union (EU) revoked its ban on Indonesian plane from serving in Europe.
"We will resume our flight to Europe with the initial destination in Amsterdam in October. It will surely increase the tourists in Indonesian since European tourists are among the most eager ones to visit Indonesia," Agus Priyanto, business director of the airline firm, said.
In the first six months this year, the number of foreign tourists in Indonesia has reached 2.97 million, a year-on-year rise of 2.17 percent.
The organizing committee chairman Ben Sukma said at least 260 exhibitors have confirmed their participation in the 2009 ITTF.
Last year's ITTF event saw transactions of more than 20 million U.S. dollars from more than 250 buyers attended the event, Ben said.