INDONESIA and Bali in particular had caught the eye of the world in the past two months, thanks to the multiple important conferences that were hosted in the famous Isle of the Gods.
First there was the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) meeting held on October 8-14 in Nusa Dua. Next it was the Our Ocean Conference (OOC) on October 29-30 and the International Environment Conferences Fourth Inter-Governmental Review (IGR-4) meeting on the Implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities on October 31-November 1.
Coming up on December 6 to 9, Bali will be hosting the FIABCI Global Business Meeting 2018. An estimated 1,500 business owners in real estate and its supporting industries will be attending the conferences that are organized every year in December. Over half of the participating businesses represent foreign investors from various countries. Of particular note is the fact that the event will be the first of its kind to be held outside of Europe in the past 68 years.
Chairman of the Realestat Indonesia (REI) Soelaeman Soemawinata said that the conference will focus on two points of interest: affordable housing and sustainable tourism development. Two central issues that are gaining significant importance across the globe, including in developing countries. Indonesia, under the administration of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, has even made these issues a state priority.
“The Bali meeting will offer a momentum to bring up the potentials of tourism-based property development to the international community,” Mr. Soemawinata, who also serves as President of FIABCI Asia Pacific, said recently.
Hosting significant conventions in Bali is part of the government’s effort to draw more international visitors. The government has set a target of 20 million international visitors to the country, especially Bali, the primary destination that has a lot to offer.
The island caters to various types of tourism and provides a wide array of accommodation, from starred hotels to budget inns. This explains the popularity of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) or simply convention--tourism in the island.
Tourism in Bali has enjoyed intensive promotion both on the domestic and international market. The government of Indonesia has placed convention tourism as a national feature, due to its growing contribution to the number of foreign visitors.
Convention tourism is one of the top five contributors of foreign visitors, on par with shopping, culinary, cultural, marine and sports tourisms. The role of convention tourism has increased the number of foreign and domestic visitors. Accordingly, Indonesia’s foreign exchange reserves is expected to rise significantly with a projected income of up to US$ 2.5 million, turning the industry into a promising powerhouse for the country’s economy.
Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya said that there is a substantial market for convention tourism. “The size, spread and spending are immense, and it is also highly sustainable,” he said recently. He cited as example the IMF-WB 2018 Annual Meetings which were attended by 15,000 delegates from 189 member countries. The list of participants included a number of high profile leaders, a definite plus for Indonesia, and Bali in particular.
“We were immensely blessed. The participants wanted to extend their stay, and this would mean higher spending for hotels, restaurants, handicrafts, everyone would be getting a piece of the cake. And that’s not including the media coverage which will be favorable for Indonesia,” he went on.
To meet the goal of 20 million international visitors and 375 domestic tourists by 2019, a strong marketing strategy is crucial.
In 2012 the Ministry of Tourism had restructured and redesigned the strategies necessary to meet the target number of visitors. The strategies include reducing the cost of connectivity, including when the market is slow; competitive destination model (CDM), which constitutes bombarding potential travelers the world over with information about Indonesian tourism; and providing subsidies for international visitors.
Minister Arief Yahya said that nomadic tourism is only a temporary solution, while convention tourism may turn out to be a permanent solution for the country’s tourism industry. The keys to successful development of a tourist destination are attractions, accessibility and amenities, or 3As.
“However, providing these three components is not an easy matter,” he added. In addition to the 3As and nomadic tourism, development of the sector requires the 3S (solid, speed, smart) qualities that involve every stakeholders from academia, business, government, communities and the media.
It is only through the implementation of these strategies the Indonesian tourism industry will have a high hope of flourishing in the future. (S2-25)