East Java turns to Bali for tourism promotion

06 June, 2012 | Source: Jakarta Post

Travel agents from East Java and other provinces in Indonesia held an exhibition in Bali over the weekend to promote tourist destinations in their areas.

Sukamade beach - Banyuwangi, East Java

(Sukamade beach - Banyuwangi, East Java)

Travel agents from East Java and other provinces in Indonesia held an exhibition in Bali over the weekend to promote tourist destinations in their areas.

They chose Bali as the venue in an attempt to attract more domestic and foreign tourists, since Bali has always seen a high number of tourist arrivals through most of the year.

In the event, initiated by the Tourism and Creative Industry Ministry, 33 travel agents from East Java, as well as from Makassar, Aceh and West Nusa Tenggara, offered their holiday packages to 77 travel agents and
hoteliers from Bali.

The value of transactions from this event is expected to exceed Rp 200 million (US$21,400).

“Bali is the right place to directly promote tourist attractions in other parts of Indonesia, because domestic and foreign tourists are concentrated here,” said M. Faried, the ministry’s director of tourism promotion for the domestic market.

Handoyo, head of promotion division from East Java’s tourism office, agreed, adding that, “We want to promote East Java, step by step, to be a main tourist destination for tourists worldwide, not just a transit point.”

Access to the province has now improved with the opening of Abdurahman Saleh Airport in Malang and Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi as commercial airports.

Previously, the main gate to East Java was Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, which now serves six routes overseas: Hong Kong, Taiwan (Taipei), Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Penang).

East Java had a lot of interesting places, some of which were already popular with foreigners, including Mount Bromo, Ijen Crater and House of Sampoerna Museum, Handoyo said.

“However, most of the destinations have yet to be exposed globally.”

(the Bromo mountain at dawn)

Some of the holiday packages offered by travel agents include the Surabaya city tour, an archeological tour of the 15th-century Majapahit kingdom, a midnight Bromo tour, the three temples tour in Malang and the bull races in Madura.

The archeological tour includes visiting Trowulan village, the site of the greatest empire Indonesia ever had, the Majapahit kingdom.

The midnight Bromo tour offers the unique experience of riding a pony at night, descending the steep slope of Mount Tengger, crossing the sea of sand and climbing up 245 steps to reach the awesome crater rim to await the sunrise crack through from the eastern range of Mount Tengger.

The bull race tour in Madura presents the colorful annual traditional bull racing festival on the island of Madura, which is usually held from August to October.

(the bull race in Madura)

To welcome more tourists, Handoyo said capacity building for local people was important. “The first thing that they should understand is that tourism can be beneficial for them. They have to be ready and have the required skills to serve tourists. We have been assisting them through training.”

Ketut Ardana, deputy chairman of the Bali chapter of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (Asita) said that the East Java holiday packages could attract tourists coming to Bali for a long period of time, mainly Europeans and Australians.

“There are always good opportunities to sell other places beyond Bali, depending on how we promote the destinations,” he said.

He added that the East Java promotion might also be interesting for Balinese locals, since the school holiday is coming later this month.

 

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