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Indonesia sharpens marketing focus
Mimi Hudoyo, Jakarta, September 3, 2013

IN LIGHT of a budget cut and the weakening rupiah, Indonesia will "work smart" and home in on source markets that are already seeing an increase in arrivals.



Indonesia’s minister of tourism and creative economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, said during a press conference in Jakarta yesterday: “The weakening of rupiah creates a double impact on tourism. While it means travellers can stretch their money further, the marketing budget, which is in foreign currency, will decrease.”


Furthermore, Indonesia will trim the coffers of all its government agencies to fund next year’s general and presidential elections, with almost 50 per cent of the tourism ministry’s budget to be cut (TTG Asia e-Daily, August 30, 2013).


Said Pangestu: “We have to work smarter. We will do more targeted marketing. For example, in China, instead of television advertisements, we will do more online platform marketing, as more and more people there do their research online.”


The ministry is working on a Mandarin website as well as intensive, year-round programmes for China that are expected to launch before the end of 2013.


“The other way is to increase the cooperation with (travel-related) companies, such as airlines, banks, credit card companies, to do joint promotions,” Pangestu added.


TTG Asia e-Daily understands that the strategy, currently still a work in progress, will see Indonesia also focus on markets including Australia, Japan and South Korea.


Despite the budget reduction, Pangestu said the ministry is working with the travel industry to keep Indonesia’s positive momentum in tourism going.


“Data showed that tourist arrivals to Indonesia for January-July 2013 grew 6.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. This is higher than the global tourism growth average, which was five per cent, according to UNWTO data,” she said.


Visitor arrivals to Indonesia between January and July totalled 4.9 million, while 2012 saw 5.6 million inbound travellers.


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