Friday, February 15, 2013

Indonesia Travel and Tourism Fair draws huge crowds

The Indonesia Travel and Tourism Fair (ITHF) 2013 drew huge crowds when it kicked off on Friday as people wanted to take advantage of big discounts for both overseas and domestic trips offered by participating travel agents.

Visitors flocked to almost every exhibitor’s booth in the Jakarta Convention Center’s Hall A as soon as the 11th staging of what has become one of the country’s largest travel fairs officially opened on Friday morning.

Yasintha, a housewife who found information about the fair from social media site Twitter, said that she was satisfied with the package she bought for her holiday in March with her family.
“I got a US$293 package for a four-day Hong Kong Ocean Park and Disneyland trip, excluding the hotel and food. It is very reasonable and I am sure my 3-year-old son will be happy with his first international trip,” she said, adding that she was happy because for that price she could afford to fly with national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia rather than a budget airline.

Visitors also crowded the booths of overseas tourist boards participating in the fair such as the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). “People are enthusiastic about Korea and we always diversify our products every year to better serve the visitors,” KTO’s Jakarta office marketing manager, Dwi Hapsari Mintorahardjo, said.

According to Bank Indonesia (BI) data, the number of Indonesian tourists going overseas increased from 7.24 million in 2011 to 7.71 million last year on the back of the country’s strong economy.
However, the data showed that Indonesians spent only $6.7 billion abroad throughout 2012, decreasing by 15 percent from the $7.72 billion spent in 2011.

Event organizer RajaMICE CEO Panca R. Sarungu said that all exhibitors involved in the three-day fair offered discounts ranging from 10 to 50 percent for each tour package and airline ticket.
“Traveling has become a new trend and lifestyle choice among Indonesians as they travel not only during school holidays, Lebaran [Idul Fitri], or year-end but also during the low season,” Panca said on the sidelines of the ITHF’s opening.

This year, more than 100 exhibitors — travel agencies, hotel operators, airlines, tourist boards and cruise liners — are taking part in the fair.
The travel fair aims to book a total of Rp 60 billion (US$6.19 million) in transactions, a 15 percent increase from last year.
The organizer expects to achieve that goal by attracting 60,000 attendees, up by 10 percent from last year.

The ITHF is running along with the Indonesia Wellness and Medical Tourism Fair (IWMTF), a platform that promotes hospitals and spas in Indonesia and Southeast Asian countries to potential customers. (Jakarta Post)

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