The government is expecting the number of tourists from the UK to increase significantly following the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s promotional campaign to be held in London.
The ministry will promote Indonesian products and tourism destinations at department store Harrods in a one-month campaign that will begin April 1.
This will mark the first time Indonesian products enter Harrods.
“We hope the promotion can boost more tourists from the UK to visit Indonesia,” the ministry’s director general for marketing, Sapta Nirwandar, said Friday.
The promotion is titled, “Remarkable Indonesia comes to Harrods” and will promote several products such as textiles, furniture and food.
The government is working together with several sponsors such as state-owned PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Indonesian women’s magazine Femina.
The initiative will cost Rp 5 billion (US$548,000), Sapta said.
“This is only a promotional event, it will not include direct selling,” he said.
“However, we expect this promotional event will have positive long-term effects for Indonesia’s tourism industry.”
The ministry is targeting the promotional event to increase the number of British tourists from 160,000 in 2009 to 200,000 this year, expecting US$4 billion in revenue for the government.
“The UK is one of the most influential areas. It is also the center of media and culture.
“Our products at this event will officially become internationally recognized,” Sapta said.
Indonesia is also a destination for European tourists, mostly from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.
Last year, 679,000 European tourists visited Indonesia, increasing from 600,000 tourists in 2008.
Sapta said in addition to the UK, the ministry will also hold similar promotional campaigns in 87 countries this year including Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
For Malaysia, this year’s promotional campaign will be the 14th time that the event has been held.
Sapta refused to disclose the budget to promote Indonesia overseas.
“We target to raise $7 billion from foreign tourists visiting Indonesia this year, but the promotional budget will be in the millions,” he said.
Indonesia aims to attract seven million foreign tourists in 2010, up from about 6.45 million visitors in 2009, a slight increase from 2008’s figure of 6.42 million foreign tourists.
The government revised the target for foreign tourist arrivals in 2008 and 2009 following the global financial meltdown.
Each foreign tourist is expected to spend an average of $1,000 each this year, hence the targeted revenue of $7 billion.
In 2009, each tourist spent an average of $995 compared to $1,178 in 2008.
Indonesia’s tourist industry is well behind Singapore, which aims to attract up to 9.5 million tourists this year, and Malaysia, targeting 19 million foreign tourists.
Indonesia is doing better than Vietnam and Thailand, which have seen drops of 16 percent and 17 percent in tourists respectively.