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Middle East market grows, but not enough for Indonesia
Mimi Hudoyo, Jakarta, June 5, 2013


INDONESIA has seen positive growth in markets like the Middle East, Japan and Taiwan as a result of an increase in airline seat capacity.


Minister of tourism and creative economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, said: “The April month-on-month performance showed phenomenal growth of arrivals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (159.6 per cent), Saudi Arabia (37.2 per cent) and Egypt (28.5 per cent), although in terms of total arrival numbers they are still very small.”


The Middle East market contributed only 0.1 per cent of total arrivals to the country.


“The growth of the UAE market could be the result of aggressive promotion by Etihad Airways and Emirates, which now fly to Jakarta from UAE a combined total of 28 times a week,” said Pangestu.


Similarly, Garuda Indonesia’s flight expansions to Japan and Taiwan have resulted in the growth of these markets.


Quizzed on the government’s plan to market in the Middle Eastern countries, Pangestu said her office would work together with the airlines for joint promotions in the market.


Meanwhile, Indonesia’s January-April arrivals increased by 5.3 per cent from 2,529,896 last year to 2,664,176. 


Among the top five markets, China booked the highest growth rate of 12.4 per cent, hitting 221,258 arrivals in the first four months. Overall, China was the third highest in terms of growth rate, after the Middle East which grew 21 per cent and India, 15.3 per cent.


Pangestu said the ministry had signed agreements with a number of China outbound operators to sell Indonesia and would be organising roadshows in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Nanjing and Qingdao in August, emphasising destinations beyond Bali.


“Our tour operator partners will sell packages, especially beyond Bali, such as Jogjakarta, Solo, Labuan Bajo (Komodo) and Lombok. We expect business from this roadshow to materialise in October,” she said.


The ministry will market Indonesia more intensively in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, China and Taiwan to achieve the target of nine million arrivals from these markets this year. The minister said these had been the top five markets for Indonesia with room for further growth. 


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