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Indonesia gears up VIWI campaign

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JAKARTA, 16 January 2018: Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya confirmed the country has set a target of 17 million tourist arrivals in 2018.

His forecast came as media outlets suggested the country would close 2017 with around 14 million, roughly a million off the pace needed to achieve the year’s 15 million target.

Up until the end of November official immigration statistic indicated tourist arrivals had reached just short of 12.6 million, up 21.84%

Now the minister is introducing what he calls VIWI 2018 to boost digital travel sales and hot deals to draw more tourists to the country. He confidently forecasts 17 million visitors in 2018 and says that will ensure the country is strong position to pass the 20 million mark in 2019.

Of the 17 million visits forecast for 2018 around 7 million visitors will holiday in Bali, a million more than in 2017.

To spur growth across the nation and beyond Bali, the Ministry of Tourism has introduced a campaign Visit Wonderful Indonesia (VIWI) 2018 that calls on all tourism stakeholders to cooperate to accelerate growth to lesser known destinations.

Indonesia has the largest population of all ASEAN member countries and vast tourism assets, but it lags behind neighbours, Thailand and Malaysia (30 million plus each), in the fundamental  head count as well as foreign exchange earnings.

VIWI 2018 will deliver hundreds of travel hot deal packages for consumers, introduce a new Calendar of Events (Colour of Indonesia), and create destination promotions sold digitally to consumers.

“The market focus in the VIWI 2018 programme will be narrowed down to ASEAN, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Europe, Middle East, and South Asia particularly India,” said the tourism minister.

VIWI 2018 activities will focus on 18 destinations, namely in Sumatra (Medan / Lake Toba, Batam, Belitung, Padang, and Pelembang), Java (Jakarta, Bandung, Borobudur / Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya-Bromo-Tengger, and Banyuwangi ), Kalimantan (Balikpapan), Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (Lombok), Sulawesi (Makassar / Wakatobi and Manado), and West Papua (Raja Ampat).

Attractions in the 18 destinations will vary, but some of the more popular ones will involve festivals, golf, shopping and spa experiences.

The campaign  will also focus on amenities for tourists in each destination providing encouragement and expertise to improve  accommodation, restaurants, and tourist transportation options.

Accessibility will see the ministry work with other agencies to expand and improve land, sea air links.

In the Calendar of Events (Colour of Indonesia) there are plans to promote and supply an online channel to sell entrance tickets to some of the major events particular those linked to popular sports competitions.

More than 100 event have been identified for 2018 divided into 13 sports competitions, 43 cultural celebrations,  21 art and entertainment, four business and trade, two educational and scientific and six political and state related.

“Of the 100 events we have the flagship event, the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang in August 2018 and the Annual Meeting of the IMF-WB in October 2018 in Bali,” the minister commented.

In addition, there are about 208 hot deals package ready for sale by the tourism industry to a worldwide audience. Many of the them will be on offer at the up-coming ASEAN Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai.

Some packages were bundling and promoted in Singapore recently that included ferry services to Batam.

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