Sunday, 10 May 2009

Indonesia’s Tourism Might Take Advantage of Political Unrest in Thailand

The mounting political tension in Thailand had its negative impact on tourism in that state, while opening opportunities to Indonesian tourism to offer alternative tour packages to points of interest in Bali and other destinations in Indonesia.

Diyak Mudahela, Director of the Council for Tourism Information Development [LEPITA] disclosed to Business News in response to the statement made by the Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik who essentially said that Indonesia did not wish to dance at the expense of someone else’s misery, but Indonesia would offer to facilitate activities of MICE [Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition] which was originally scheduled for Thailand to be relocated to Indonesia.

To take advantage of business opportunities caused by the adverse political climate in Thailand was not meant to dance over someone else’s misery, but simply our responsive act to any popping out of business opportunities. Moreover Indonesia’s tourist attractions had its sharp competitive edge – while the tariffs were notably low in the world with attractions that were unmatched by any other tourist destination in the world.

Naturally it would not be easy for us to re-route loyal “repeated guest” types who had been visiting Thailand for 5 to 6 times, but we can drum up fresh visitors or newly introduced tourists who cancelled or suspended their visit to Thailand. We could offer substitute destinations to Pattaya-bound tourists for instance, like Bali and surroundings.

The same steps could have been taken by our neighboring competitor states who benefited from the Travel Warning imposed by the USA and other European states to Indonesia. And now after 2-3 most of post withdrawal of the travel warning, Indonesia took on more aggressive measures to grab opportunities.

Those opportunities were most important considering the tough competition in tourism among ASEAN states. Cambodia and Thailand, who in the 1980’s only managed to drum up hundred of thousand of tourists, now were able to draw millions of tourists. The flow of tourists to Thailand alone was chalked up at 4.5 million people.It principle, we should be able to make the best of the conditions in Thailand by energizing promotion activities and offering of low-priced tour packages in the effort to meet target. The growth of foreign tourist influx to the Southeast Asian region were projected to remain positive and it was through this sector that the ASEAN states might survive from the global economic crisis.

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