MAKASSAR – The Indonesian annual travel mart, Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo (TIME) or ‘Pasar Wisata Indonesia’ is concluded today with total attendance of 104 buyers from 21 countries. The top five buyers consisted of Malaysia, Korea, India and Indonesia, Singapore, and the Netherlands. TIME 2008 also attracted 108 sellers from 16 provinces of Indonesia, which mostly come from Jakarta, South Sulawesi, Bali, North Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, Yogyakarta and East Kalimantan, and Papua. The percentage of sellers based on industry is hotel, resort and spa (75 percent), NTO (10 percent), tour operator/travel agent (7 percent), adventure/activity holiday (3 percent), airline (1.5 percent), and others (hotel management, tourism board, tourism organization and travel portal (8.5 percent).
The above was reported during the closing press conference of TIME 2008 by the organizing committee of TIME 2008. “Despite the current global financial crisis and EU ban to Indonesian airlines, TIME 2008 has booked an estimated transaction of US$15.2 million,” said Meity Robot, chairperson of TIME 2008.
“The conduct of TIME 2008 in Makassar has proven successful as a result of good cooperation among the organizing committee and organizer of TIME 2008 together with the local committee, which comprises the provincial government of South Sulawesi, City of Makassar, and the entire tourism industry, as well as associations in South Sulawesi and Makassar,” said Meity.
“We have heard some positive comments and constructive notes have been expressed by delegates of TIME 2008 saying that Makassar has grown significantly since the last TIME 2006 and has shown tremendous progress in featuring the city as a travel and MICE destination, with its newest international airport and convention center, as well as development of new hotels and tourism attractions,” said Meity.
Buyers and international travel writers are given the opportunity to take part in the post-tour program to Toraja for 3 days and 2 nights.
The organizing committee of TIME has decided that next year’s TIME will be held in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. At press time by West Nusa Tenggara yesterday, the provincial government of West Nusa Tenggara represented by the vice chairman of DPRD West Nusa Tenggara, in association with the Lombok and Sumbawa tourism board, stated that with full support from the provincial government of West Nusa Tenggara, together with the entire tourism industry and association, they are ready to host TIME 2009 and 2010 and will assure that the venue, as well as infrastructure, will be ready in time so that TIME in Lombok will be successful.
Lombok is only a 20-minute flight from Bali. The island possesses various tourism potentials, from nature (mountain, sea, and land) to culture and arts, which could attract an international market. Presently, Lombok has 3,000 hotel rooms with international standards. With the present development of hotels in Lombok, by 2009 Lombok will have around 3,500 hotel rooms.
In terms of accessibility, Lombok is flown from Singapore by Silk Air; from Malaysia by Merpati Nusantara; from Jakarta by Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, and Batavia Air; from Surabaya by Merpati Nusantara, Lion Air, Batavia Air, and Citylink; and from Bali by Merpati Nusantara, Trigana Air, and Indonesia Air Transport. Beginning December 2008, the island will have a direct flight from Perth, Australia. Moreover, Lombok is now developing its international airport.
“The shifting of TIME to Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara will be for two consecutive years – 2009 and 2010 – and is aimed at promoting Lombok and West Nusa Tenggara to the international market, as well as to foster the development of tourism facilities and improvement of infrastructure in the region so that at the end, the destination could enjoy itself as a global travel destination,” Meity Robot concluded.
Last year, TIME 2006 in Makassar was attended by 110 buyers from 21 countries and 124 sellers from 20 provinces with a recorded transaction value of USD$15 million, whereas previously TIME 2005 in Yogyakarta was attended by 84 buyers from 23 countries and 128 sellers from 20 provinces with a transaction value of USD$13 million.
TIME 2008 is supported by the ministry of culture and tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, South Sulawesi provincial government, the city of Makassar, the South Sulawesi culture and tourism office, the Makassar culture and tourism office, Garuda Indonesia as the official carrier, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, INACA (Indonesia National Air Carriers Association), BARINDO (Board of Airline Representatives Indonesia), the embassies of Indonesia overseas, ASITA (Indonesian tour operators and travel agencies) South Sulawesi, PHRI (Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association) South Sulawesi and Makassar, the Indonesian Conference and Convention Association (INCCA), Pacto Convex as the event organizer, Indo Multi Media as the offical media partner, TTG Asia and Venue Magazine as supporting media partners, and Bulanmadu.com.