Indonesia is set to hold the Bali & Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) in Nusa Dua, Bali, from June 10 to 14 this year to introduce the countrys tourism to the world.
The BBTF 2015, which is being organized for the second time this year, will promote not only the famous tourist resorts in Bali, but also those in other Indonesian regions such as Papua, Yogyakarta, Padang, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Sulawesi and Sumatera.
The worlds best island of Bali was selected to host the BBTF because the island is known as the gateway of Indonesia that attracts foreign tourists to visit other regions of the country.
The Indonesian government has targeted to attract 12 million foreign tourists this year and 20 million by 2019. Bali is expected to receive some four million tourists in 2015.
Some 40 percent of the total foreign tourists visiting Indonesia land in Bali first and then proceed to other tourist resorts in the country.
It was decided that the event would be held in mid June because it would then coincide with the annual Bali Art Festival.
The pre-launch of the BBTF 2015 was kicked off by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya in Balairung Susilo Soedarman, Jakarta, on February 26 this year.
The theme that the BBTF 2015 is based on, is "See the Wonderful Indonesian Archipelago through Balis Natural Beauty."
Minister Yahya said that the fair is expected to act as a platform for international buyers to shop for tourism packages to Bali and beyond, particularly to eastern Indonesian regions.
"The implementation of the BBTF 2015 is special because President Joko Widodo will host a dinner for delegations comprising buyers and sellers," he added.
"Through this event, we hope the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia will increase this year and in the years to come," he remarked.
The BBTF 2015 is expected to be participated in by hundreds of travel agents, including 50 platinum travel agents from various countries, which could bring in at least 10 thousand tourists every year.
In addition, some 325 potential buyers are also expected to take part in the fair. They will be from the United States, European nations, Middle Eastern countries, South Africa, North and South Asia, India, ASEAN member nations, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Latin American countries, among others.
At least 18 travel bureaus from Australia have confirmed their participation in the BBTF 2015.
Also, some 370 sellers from various fields, including hoteliers, travel agents, corporations, transportation companies, and restaurateurs, are also expected to join the travel fair. Last year, 278 sellers participated in the event.
The first BBTF in 2014 saw participation from 246 foreign buyers and 278 sellers, and recorded transactions worth Rp6.2 trillion. This year, the organizers have more than doubled the target of business transactions to Rp13.5 trillion.
"We set a higher target because the number of platinum buyers rose to 50 companies. We are optimistic that we can achieve the figure," Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the BBTF 2015, I Ketut Ardana, stated recently.
The implementation of the travel fair will cost some Rp23.2 billion, up from the Rp21.7 billion spent last year.
The organizing committee of the BBTF 2015 will invite cruise travel agents to take part in the event to be held in Bali.
"We still have three months till the event. They might come because cruise operators want to know what tourism objects and attractions can be offered to their passengers," Ardana explained.
Bali will invite cruise operators to draw in more foreign tourists to the island.
He affirmed that Bali has adequate harbor infrastructure to accommodate cruise ships.
Ardana further noted that the Benoa Seaport in Denpasar often receives foreign cruise ships, but they are mostly medium-sized ones with one to two thousand passengers.
A big cruise ship could carry more than 5,000 tourists that usually stay longer in luxurious hotels and spend a lot of money, he said.
Moreover, the country has intensified its marine tourism promotional activities in accordance with the vision of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to revive the glorious maritime past of the nation.
As the worlds largest archipelagic nation, some 70 percent of Indonesias territory is water, and it has 17,480 islands and a 92,000-kilometer long beach and coastal areas, the second longest after Canada.
It also has around 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory, which constitutes huge marine tourism potential.
The Indonesian government has set a target of earning US$4 billion from marine tourism this year, up from the target of US$1 billion the previous year.
Also, cruise ships are expected to visit 10 Indonesian seaports this year, for which the government has eased permit procedures for international yachters.
"It is hoped that it will soon take only two hours to issue a permit," the tourism minister remarked in Batam, Riau Islands province, earlier this month.
The government will adopt an online system of issuing permits known as the Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT Online), he stated, adding that it also plans to extend the stay permit for yachters from three months to six months.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya recently pointed out that Indonesia has yet to optimize its maritime tourism potential as a key source of income.
Furthermore, the BBTF 2015 intends to establish a new benchmark for travel and tourism events in Indonesia. By involving buyers and sellers together in a single forum, the BBTF 2015 aims to advance the tourism industry through business sessions and direct promotions of the best practices in MICE and leisure management.
Unlike the BBTF 2014, the fair this year will be more focused on the top three market segments, which include leisure, MICE and special interest, according to information on the website of the BBTF 2015.
The event will also have a more efficient, productive and simply-designed program, as well as an extensive one of activities for delegates.
As a bonus, Qatar Airways is offering an exclusive fare for BBTF participants from around the globe. This offer is valid on www.qatarairways.com.