Visit Indonesia Year 2008

Indonesia is ramping up for a giant tourism year in 2008. The Indonesian government launched Visit Indonesia Year 2008 on Wednesday and hopes are high that this campaign can get the tourist sector to the next level. Here’s more from the Jakarta Post.

Visit Indonesia Year 2008 officially launched

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government officially launched Visit Indonesia Year 2008 on Wednesday, with the main aim of luring up to 7 million foreign tourists and booking US$6.4 billion in foreign exchange income.

To help reach the target, the government is setting aside $15 million for a domestic and international advertising blitz.

“The budget will be used to finance the promotion campaign, especially abroad,” Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik told a media conference before the grand launch of the program, which will be the second for the country.

The government held its first Visit Indonesia program in 1991, which was not particularly successful, increasing the number of foreign tourists by merely 400,000 from the year earlier, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS).

BPS data show that in 1991, around 2.5 million foreign tourists visited the country, from 2.1 million in the previous year.

This year, foreign tourist arrivals are expected to hit 5.5 million, well short of the 6 million targeted.

Jero said the ministry had so far bought advertising time on several international television channels.

However, the larger portion of the money will be used to finance international forums, where it can effectively introduce and promote the program.

Thamrin B.Bachri, the ministry’s director general, added that such forums would be held mainly in countries which traditionally provided the most tourists for Indonesia, such as Australia, Singapore, Malaysia Korea and China.

“These international promotion programs will take the biggest portion of the budget allocation.”

Wednesday’s grand launch was highlighted by performances from Indonesian singers such as Ruth Sahanaya, Rossa and pop band Ungu.

Last week, the ministry had to revise its tourism slogan when it was pointed out it was grammatically incorrect. “Celebrating 100 years of nation’s awakening” was changed to “100 years of national awakening”.

Garuda Indonesia was forced to repaint 10 planes servicing international routes that had already been daubed with the slogan.

Next year the ministry is set to organize more than 100 international events and cultural festivals across the country. (ndr)

In the past there have been complaints about the lack of a coordinated marketing effort for the Indonesian tourism industry. The fact that people flock to Bali, Sulawesi and other places being due more to the efforts of private companies than ant national industry marketing. This new campaign got off to a stuttering start with grammar errors in the logo’s tag line. However that sorts itself out the fact remains that Indonesia offers unique cultures, tremendous bio-diversity, fabulous opportunities for adventure and all the creature comforts a short term tourism could hope for. Getting that across to more people will be the challenge, but its one that is possible.