Responding to the huge opportunity, the Consulate General consistently continues to promote Indonesian tourism to the U.S. public audience. In cooperation with various stakeholders, the Consulate General conducted three tourism promotion events, which were the Dinner Meeting “Visit the Wonders of Indonesia” with members of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) New York Chapter (24/2) as well as the Boston Globe Travel Show in Boston (19-21/2) and New York Times Travel Show in New York (26-28/2), in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Washington, DC.
Promotion events in the U.S. are important mainly to encourage and promote tourists’ interests to visit Indonesia. There remains a high opportunity to encourage tourists from the U.S. to visit Indonesia as the U.S. Department of Commerce noted in 2008 that approximately 31 million tourists from the U.S. went abroad and about 6.5 million of them went to Asia. In this regard, Japan, China, India, and Hongkong have become the top destination countries in Asia. In the meanwhile, In 2008, Thailand with its political turmoil was still visited by 700,000 tourists from the U.S. On the same year, there were 250,000 tourists from the U.S. who have visited Malaysia while Indonesia was only visited by 165,000 tourists from the U.S. Since 2005, there was a tendency of significant increases of tourists from the U.S. to Indonesia.
During the “Visit the Wonders of Indonesia” event at the Pancasila Room of the Consulate General (24/2), Consul General Trie Edi Mulyani promoted Indonesia as a beneficial tourist destination to business in front of 100 members of PATA New York Chapter that comprised of tourist operators, travel agents, travel writers, and other tourism businesses. The Consul General constantly underlined that Indonesia is not a one-time travel deal.
Besides, the Consul General also highlighted that Indonesia offers multiple destinations. These multiple destinations will meet the interests of various segments of tourists that range from backpackers, honeymooners, families, to tourists which look for high-class resorts or even elderly who looks for a peaceful and nostalgic place.
Also attended the event that night are the Representative of Garuda Indonesia in New York; Como Hotels which introduced their hotels; Uma Hotel in Ubud; as well as two tourist agents in NYC which offered tourist package to Indonesia, Pacific Holiday and Orient Flexy Pax; travel insurance company Travelex; and representatives from Emirates which offered cheap flight tickets to Indonesia. The moderator that night was John Riady, Indonesia’s young entrepreneur and the writer of “The Jakarta Globe” who recently is pursuing a degree in the Columbia University New York. There was also a performance from the Balinese gamelan group under the Consulate General, Dhamaswara, which will participate in the Bali Cultural Festival on June 2010.
In regards to this event, the Chairman of PATA New York Chapter, Mr. Andi Bhatia, stated that the number of PATA members presented that night reflected their high interests on Indonesia. Closing his remarks, Mr. Bathia conveyed donation from members of PATA New York Chapter for the earthquake victims in West Sumatera and the Gamelan Group Dharmaswara.
On that night event, there were also special cuisines prepared by the best Indonesian chef in the U.S., Yono Purnomo. The event was ended by a lucky draw with batik from pineapple fibers and the painting “Legong Bali” collection of the Consul General, as the presents.
Tourism Promotions in the Boston Globe Travel Show and the New York Times Travel Show
Meanwhile, exhibition room in World Trade Center Boston and Jacob Javitz Center New York hosted thousands visitors of the two biggest travel shows in the East Coast. Most of the visitors that stopped by the Indonesia’s booth have a high interest to have a vacation in Indonesia. There were merely no negative questions or comments from the visitors. This reflects the good image of Indonesia among the U.S. public nowadays.
Exhibition booth has been filled with brochures on various tourist destinations in Indonesia and brochures from local tour operators. There were also the embassy and the consulate general staffs who eagerly explained the beauty and uniqueness of Indonesia’s cultures to the visitors. In the end, this booth was able to attract a lot of visitors.
Local tourist agents, such as Pacific Holiday, GoWay, and A Classic Tour, offered various tourist packages to several destinations in Indonesia like Bali, Yogyakarta, Solo, Lombok, and Tana Toraja. These packages really helped the embassy and consulate general efforts to promote and sell tourist destinations in Indonesia to the visitors. (Source: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York)