The city administrations of Bandung and Beijing have agreed to expand cooperation between the two cities in tourism promotion .
The agreement was marked with the signing of a memorandum of understanding here on Monday night.
Dience Herlina Permana, the secretary of the Bandung city tourism and culture service , said more Chinese tourists have visited Indonesia from year to year.
The increase in the number of Chinese visitors to Indonesia has been in line with the rapid expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries, Dience.
However, the Chinese visitors are still far smaller in number compared with those from Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Australia, she said.
The cooperation, therefore, is expected to result in an increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia including Bandung and vice versa, Dience said.
Nicolas Lumanau, chairman of the Bandung Promotion Agency said the two countries have long histories and the cultures of the two countries have strong influence on each other.
Nicolas said most Chinese may not forget that Bandung was the city where the historic Asia Africa Conference was held in 1955 attended by then Prime Minister Zhou En Lai together with other leaders of the emerging Asia and African countries.
Until now the building that housed the conference is still well preserved, he said.
Many reasons why tourism cooperation needs to be expanded between the two countries, he said citing the cultural varieties that influenced each other.
Deputy chairman of Beijing Promotion Agency Yu Depin said Beijing has become the world`s tourist destination for 3,000 years although it was only 860 years as Chinese capital city.
Yu Depin predicted in the next five years there would be 400 million Chinese tourists visiting foreign countries opening the possibility for Indonesia including Bandung to take advantage of the opportunity.
Beijing and Bandung have different characteristics both with varying cultures, therefore, the two cities would have more to give and take from cooperation, he said.
The five year cooperation agreement in tourism promotion and marketing could be extended depending on the two cities, he said.
The two cities also agreed to jointly undertake tourism research and exchange of information (Antara)