Speaking on the sidelines of the annual Indonesia sales mission to India, Masruroh, Deputy Director of International Tourism Promotion for Asia, Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia revealed that, having welcomed 177,000 Indians to the destination in 2012, the target for 2013 is 200,000. “We expect a 20 per cent growth in Indian arrivals by the end of this year,” she said.

Speaking about their marketing strategies in India, Masruroh stated that the country will continue to host their annual sales missions, as well as participate in SATTE and OTM every year. She further added that, this year, Indonesia added Pune to their sales mission agenda as the footfall from the tier II city has been good. Furthermore, the destination plans familiarisation trips for Indian agents and is also planning an online training module to help agents better sell the country.

In a bid to increase Indian footfall to Indonesia, Masruroh revealed that the Ministry is pushing Garuda Indonesia and Air India to commence direct flights between the two countries. “In fact, we recently heard that Batik Air has received permission to fly direct to India. We hope that it will commence this year. We are currently awaiting their decision on the same,” she added.

In addition, the country is inviting Bollywood producers on familiarisation trips to promote the country among the film industry and, through that, attract more Indian footfall. Masruroh stated that the Ministry would be able to provide producers help with permissions, facilitations and feasibility studies should they choose to shoot in the country.

India is currently Indonesia’s 11th largest source market, with Malaysia, Singapore and Australia leading the list. According to Masruroh, Indonesia receives a balanced footfall of business and leisure traffic from here, with incentives growing as a market.