The Tourism Ministry has had its eyes on the Middle Eastern market in recent months, carrying out heavy promotion to attract tourists from the area.
“We didn’t want to miss the summer holiday period, so we were busy promoting from February until May because during that time they were busy looking for a holiday destination. They usually travel from after Idul Fitri until Idul Adha,” explained I Gde Pitana, the Toursim Ministry’s deputy for overseas promotion.
The ministry’s deputy assistant for Europe, the United States, Middle East and Africa tourism promotion, Nia Niscaya, added that people in the Middle East had of the habit of making last-minute bookings.
In February, the ministry participated in the Jeddah Travel Show exhibition. While in March it invited tour operators and media from the Middle East to Bali to participate in a King Salman napak tilas tour, visiting the areas visited by King Salman in Bali. In April, the ministry participated in the Arabian Travel Mart presenting 70 industries in a booth designed to look like a Phinisi boat and Sasak traditional house.
Also in April, the ministry participated in the Riyadh Travel Show with a mission to promote the King Salman napak tilas travel package. In early May, the ministry conducted a table top event with six sellers and 60 buyers in Kuwait and later on May 24, it held yet another table top event in Dubai consisting of seven sellers and 80 buyers.
“The table top event is a partnership program with Emirates airline after the signing of an MoU [memorandum of understanding] by both parties back in 2016,” Niscaya said.
In October, the ministry will hold a familiarization trip (famtrip) for bloggers. The event will be held in partnership with Qatar Airways.
“Back in May, we partnered up with Oman Air and did a famtrip with Al Rais, the biggest whole seller in United Arab Emirates, in which we visited Jakarta and West Java,” she added.