There has been a substantial increase in the number of Indian tourists visiting Indonesia since last few years. Hence the Indonesian Tourism Board (ITB) is keen on sustaining the growth momentum. As part of its program for the Indian market, ITB arranged a special co-ordination and synchronization session related to the tourism program in Chennai on December 29. 

In the last three years, Indian tourists visiting Indonesia have increased beyond all expectations. In 2015, a total of 271,252 visitors came from India, and in the following year the number increased to 376,802. Meanwhile, the number of tourists in 2017 is almost touching a figure of 500,000.

The tourism session in Chennai was attended by  Mr. Sanjay Sondhi, Country Manager, VITO – India, New Delhi, Mrs. Giri Adnyani, Director, Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, Office of the Deputy for International Marketing, Mr. Kumar, Hon. Consultant, Indonesia Consulate, and Mr. Sidharto Suryo Dipuro, Indonesian Ambassador to India, based in New Delhi. 

The main objective of the session was to enable Indian tourists to share the actual and factual conditions of tourism in Indonesia, particularly Bali, after the eruption of Mount Agung. The Indian tourists can see the beauty of the beach and the mesmerizing sea “10 New Bali Destinations” such as the Komodo Island of East Nusa Tenggara, the splendor of the UNESCO cultural area of Borobudur Temple in Magelang and various other natural wonders of the Indonesian archipelago.

It was observed during the discussion that Indian tourists love exotic destinations in Indonesia with its rich, exotic and unique culture. India has a similar culture like Indonesia. 

The major points highlighted at the session were that the ITB is organising a road show after successful launches in New Delhi and Mumbai and now in Chennai to cover the southern markets. 

Connectivity from India to Jakartha and Indonesian cities is still a major challenge because there is no direct flight from India till this day, whereas Garuda, Indonesia Air, Air Asia, Cathay Pacific, Silk Air, Batik Air, Thai Air, all are operating to select cities. 

The Indonesian carrier Garuda will start a direct flight from Mumbai to Bali from March 12 next. It will initially be thrice a week and will be raised to four in due course. The airline will deploy its latest Airbus A-330 on the route. The next possibility is to connect Chennai to Bali.

The meeting emphasized the need to sort out various other issues between the Indian and Indonesian Governments. Travel agents in both India and Indonesia have to give priority consideration for better safety, security, comfort, happiness and easy VISA formalities at both the ends.