Indonesia has launched a major drive to attract more Saudi tourists this year. Its new two-day promotion ended at the Mall of Arabia this week.
The Indonesian Consulate General in Jeddah, which organized the event in coordination with the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, and Garuda Indonesia, was upbeat about the campaign and hoped to receive many more Saudi families during the year.
“This event aims to promote Indonesian destinations for the Kingdom’s residents, both citizens and expatriates,” said Nur Ibrahim, vice consul at the Indonesian Consulate General.
He opened the promotion with Aehmed Harun, inspector of Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.
“The effort is also to focus on Indonesian travel and tourism agencies who are offering attractive travel packages to local tourists,” said Nur Ibrahim.
Fourteen Indonesian travel and tour agencies, and hotels from Indonesia joined the event showcasing their products and services, especially the country’s natural attractions.
Some Indonesian traditional dresses were on display, which children wore and had their pictures taken. Brochures and other printed promotion materials were distributed during the program.
“Last year, Indonesian tourism contributed $ 9.07 billion to the country’s foreign exchange earnings. The earnings were 6.03 percent higher than in the previous year’s (2011) $ 8.554 billion,” said Ibrahim. “Every year, Indonesia receives increasing number of visitors from Saudi Arabia compared to those from other parts of the world. That’s why we focus on our quality services in a bid to get more Saudi travelers,” he added.
According to Indonesian Statistics Agency BPS, 86,645 Saudi tourists visited Indonesia in 2012, 3.38 percent more than 83,815 visitors in 2011.
Harun said the Middle East has been a growing market for Indonesia, whose economy has remained robust since the beginning of 2013.
According to Harun, 1.29 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia in the first two months of 2013, a 3.82 percent increase over the same period in 2012, to 1.25 million tourists.
With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia has many exotic natural attractions and ecotourism destinations that will hopefully draw more Saudi visitors, he said.
The Indonesian government has identified some priority destinations to be developed in the coming year, including Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Pangandaran in West Java, the Borobudur–Prambanan areas in Central Java and Yogya-Sleman in Yogyakart, besides others in East Java, Southeast Sulawesi, Derawan islands in East Kalimantan, Pulau Weh in Aceh, as well as in Jakarta and Bali.