| James Kon |
INDONESIA is the third largest source of tourist arrivals to Brunei last year with 27,463 visitors, behind China (with 65,563 visitors) and Malaysia (59,528 visitors), according to Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Dr Sujatmiko revealed.
Dr Sujatmiko, speaking at the opening ceremony for the Wonderful Indonesia Travel Fair 2019 being held at The Mall, also pointed out that the data shows a decrease in the number of Indonesian visitors to Brunei year-on-year, and “more needs to be done” to improve this trend.
“There was a drop in Bruneians visiting Indonesia last year compared to the previous year,” said the ambassador. “Based on Indonesia’s statistical bureau, more than 17,279 Bruneians visited Indonesia in 2018 compared to the previous year with 23,455 Bruneian visitors.”
“Visits to Indonesia by Bruneians were dominated by air transportation, making up 58.3 per cent, followed by land at around 41 per cent and water at 0.7 per cent,” he added. “Through air transportation, Bandar Seri Begawan has direct flights (via Royal Brunei Airlines) to three cities in Indonesia: Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali.”
“Jakarta, which has direct flights from Brunei, offers one of Indonesia’s top 10 destinations – Seribu Islands. Jakarta is known as a shopping and culinary destination, or just as a transit for the surrounding areas – Bandung, Puncak Bogor, etc – and other cities like Padang, Jogja, Solo, Malang and others.”
Dr Sujatmiko noted that the top five Indonesian destinations to draw more tourist dollars from the Brunei market are Bali, Aceh, West Sumatra, Jakarta and Yogyakarta. He added that new destinations like Derawan in East Kalimantan also presents a good opportunity for Bruneians to open up new markets.
The ambassador also touched on the bilateral ties between Brunei and Indonesia, highlighting the “strong bond” of the two nations. “Both countries continue to enjoy strong ties in a wide spectrum of cooperation, including trade and investment, tourism, agriculture, marine and fisheries, health, defence, education, youth, culture and people-to-people contacts,” he said.
The ambassador highlighted that the Indonesian government is holding its focusing on tourism, due to the recent boom in Indonesia’s tourism sector.
He explained, “Indonesia welcomed 15.8 million overseas visitors last year, an increase of 1.8 million from the previous year. This increase is surely because of the result of a coordinated and strategic government effort to drive the growth of the industry.
“Meanwhile in 2019, the target of foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia is 20 million or an increase of 26.53 per cent from 2018. Based on our statistical data, international tourist arrivals to Indonesia from January to May 2019 reached 6.37 million or around 31.86 per cent of our target (or increase of 2.7 per cent) from the previous year.”
The ambassador said for 2019, Indonesia will concentrate on hard-selling activities and forging collaborations with airlines or wholesalers, and developing the country’s 10 emerging tourist destinations, – Lake Toba in North Sumatera, Belitung Island in East Sumatera, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Thousand Islands in Jakarta, Borobudur in Yogyakarta Central Java, Bromo in East Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Morotai in North Maluku, and Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi.
The Wonderful Indonesia Travel Fair 2019 was launched by Acting Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Haji Halidi bin Haji Mohd Salleh as the guest of honour.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps and other invited guests were present.
The launch ceremony featured traditional Indonesian dance performances such as Tor-Tor, a traditional dance from the Batak tribe in North Sumatra, Remeksa and Satia dance from Central Java, as well as a Sri Panganti dance from East Java.