Indonesia B2B travel show TIME Pasar Wisata hosted its 19th edition in Padang, West Sumatra for the first time.
An opportunity to showcase the region, four years after a devastating earthquake, and also to reaffirm TIME positioning as a show dedicated only to the trade.
It might disappoint an outsider looking only at numbers. The 19th edition of TIME welcomed 83 buyers from 27 countries who met 81 sellers. A small turn-around then?
Not to Meity Robot, Chairperson of TIME 2013 who has been following the show since its beginning and witnessed all the changes over the year. “We identified a couple of years ago a niche for a very professional, exclusive B2B format show. And it works. Our buyers are serious to sell Indonesia and come to learn about new products. We welcome buyers from many new countries this year such as Bangladesh, Croatia or Slovenia. And we expect that total transactions will surpass last year by 10% to 15% to reach close to US$ 17 million”, says Meity Robot.
In fact, Indonesian provinces are recognizing the value of hosting TIME. “We had eight bidding provinces to host the next TIME.
We then discuss with Sapta Nirwandar, Indonesia Vice Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, who then thought that provinces would have a fairer chance to host the show in a shorter time period if it would rotate every year to a new venue.
We then spoke with West Sumatra authorities if it would be okay to eventually move the show to Pekanbaru in the Riau Province next year. We will finalize the decision in a couple of months”, adds Meity Robot. “It could be a disappointment for West Sumatra. But we are here to promote Indonesia first. And West Sumatra will continue to be present in the future in Pekanbaru or any other venue hosting TIME Pasar Wisata”, highlights Ir. H. Maulana Yusran, Chairman of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association for West Sumatra.
Hosting TIME prove to be a good test to evaluate how a destination is well accepted by international sellers and also how is a destination ready to welcome an international show. The relative small scale of the fair is also a good way to entice secondary Indonesian destinations to bid for it. The presence of international buyers and sellers will not only boost the destination appeal but also provide investors with a clearer vision of the market’s requirements. “We learn a lot from such a show as all feedbacks are positive ones. For example, we will work more on improving the handling of arriving visitors at the airport or by putting better signage in town for a better orientation of foreign tourists”, says Drs. H. Burhasman, Head of West Sumatra office of tourism.
Moving into Pekanbaru next year will then be the opportunity for the Riau Province –West Sumatra’s closest neighbour- to showcase its tourism product to Indonesian specialists. “We will not be the main venue for tourism next year. However, we are certain to bid again in the future and play host for TIME…” concludes Maulana Yusran, the Head of the IHRA. (Traveldailynewsasia)