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‘‘Indonesia is expecting to achieve a target of around five lakh Indian visitors in the next five years’’

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Bali and Jakarta are the most popular destinations of Indonesia. Which are the other destinations that you are trying to promote in India and why?

Indonesia can offer many things as far as tourism is concerned to an Indian tourist with its rich culture, wonderful nature, friendly people and much more that will make as once-in-a-lifetime experience. Besides Bali and Jakarta, other areas of interest are West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau Bengkulu, Lampung, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Maluku and Papua.

What are the greatest strengths of Indonesia as a tourism destination?

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago with more than 17508 islands and thousands of ethnic group each with its own rich and unique cultural heritages and traditions. Indonesian arts products and culture has been noticed worldwide for its quality, craftsmanship and originality. The diverse cultures have given Indonesia as rich heritage of traditions and art resulting in festivities throughout the year in different parts of the country. The tourist can experience throughout the year the highly sophisticated music and dances developed by the royal courts listed with folk arts, religious ceremonies and festivals in the main tourist destination areas. Craft, temporary music, exotic dances and rituals are just a few of delights to be discovered in Indonesia. Indonesia have rich and diverse culinary traditions, and might be considered as one of the richest and the best in the world.

What kind of growth have you seen from the Indian market recently?

India is an important market for Indonesia with the number of arrivals from India increasing year after year. In 2011, the figure was around 168122 visitors. However, the total tourist coming to Indonesia in year 2011 was 7.6 million. Indonesia is expecting to achieve a target of around 500,000 Indian visitors in the next five years.

What are your plans to lure MICE business from India?

Indonesian MICE sector looks at India as an emerging market. In Indonesia’s major cities MICE venues, facilities and services have been developed according to international standards. These destinations also offer maximum prime space, latest technology and manpower support for international-standard events. In addition, Indonesia also presents highly attractive and competitive offers for meeting planning featured exclusively in travel business event, since Indonesia has a tange of accommodations and venues available at attractive prices.

Which are the fairs, festivals and other cultural events which would attract Indian visitors?

To enhance the Indonesia-India relations, this year our mission is promoting two major events titled ‘Trade Expo Indonesia 2012’ and ‘Pasar Wisata 2012’ or ‘Tourism Indonesia Mart and Expo (TIME)’. Trade Expo Indonesia 2012, held from October 7-12, 2012 at Jakarta, sees a selective range of products for exports, from natural-based commodities, technology to creative industry. TIME will be held at Bandar Lampung from October 9-12, 2012.The event will present all tourist destination, inlcuding popular travel destinations, tourism objects and new product development. We hope that the valuable presence of Indian for both the events in long run shall strengthen the bilateral and cultural relations.

How is the Consulate of Indonesia enagaged in tourism development activities here?

We are participating in various ourbound travel and tourism expos across the country. We also conduct FAM programmes for travel professionals from India. We promote Indonesian culture by participating in events like ‘Oberoi Melting Pot’ and cultural events organised in Surat and Thane.

Could you throw some light on visa procedures for Indonesia?

Indian nationals travelling to Indonesia can acquire visa on arrival for a period of thirty days, provided are in possession of passport valid for at least six months from date of arrival and have proof of onward or return passage.

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