Indonesian Government Seeking a Larger Share of the Lucrative Chinese Tourist Market


 Mainland Chinese tourists coming to Bali have surged ahead, becoming the second largest source of tourist visitors to Bali.

On a recent visit to Bali, Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, urged Bali and the rest of Indonesia to grab a larger share of the Chinese tourist market - now seen as the largest outbound travel market in the world.

  "It's important for Bal tourism and Indonesian tourism as a whole to seize their share of the Chinese market. This is because the Chinese now control the world economy and the majority of its citizens seek to travel abroad," said Pangestu, while addressing a recent meeting of tourism stakeholders in Nusa Dua.

  In order to earn a fair market share of the Chinese market, Pangestu said a coordinate marketing program addressing the Chinese market is needed.  Continuing, she said material used in the Chinese market for promotion must be presented in Mandarin Chinese, as many Chinese travelers do not speak English. "After we studied and undertook general promotions, it was determined that materials about Indonesia must be in the Mandarin language. In addition, websites (promoting Indonesia) must be in Mandarin. We also need to make more intensive promotions to China or make a TV show with a Chinese celebrity touring Bali," said Pangestu.

  Pangestu is convinced such tactics will increase the number of Chinese visitors to Bali and the rest of Indonesia. This type of promotion undertaken by Thailand and Malaysia, said the Minister, have brought nearly 2 million Chinese tourists annually to those destinations. Meanwhile, Indonesia is targeting only one million Chinese visitors for 2014, a number that is twice the number of Chinese visitors to the Republic in 2013.

The Tourism Minister also identified the need to train Indonesians on how to serve the Chinese traveler from both a linguistic and cultural standpoint.

In response, the director of the Bali Hotel Academy (STP Bali), Drs. Dewa GN Byomantara, said efforts have been made to provide supplemental courses in Mandarin to help anticipate the growing number of Chinese visitors. 

"We have engaged Mandarin language teachers, but they only stay for a couple of years. Leaving later to start their own businesses. We are currently having problems obtaining Mandarin-speaking guides to teach here," said Byomantara.



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