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Indonesia unveils $1million meeting fund

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism has announced US$1 million bid fund in 2019 to increase its market share of international meetings.

Arief Yahya, Indonesia’s minister of tourism, said: “Business events are a high-yielding sector and we encourage the industry to bid for events while the government provides the funding.”

Aside from the creation of the fund, the Indonesian Tourism is looking into developing and promoting MICE-ready destinations like Batam and Bintan. Currently, only Bali and Jakarta are considered ready.

Yahya explained: “We will not be able to beat Singapore if we compete heads on. What we can do is pair Singapore with Batam and Bintan for side events and pre and post-programmes. This is our intention.”

These initiatives are important as it will help to boost both the number of arrivals and the country’s revenues as the government is stepping up foreign exchange earnings to lower the current account deficit.

Bambang Brodjonegoro, minister of national development of Indonesia, said: “We should not be content at seeing long queues at the immigration counters anymore, but instead how to make travellers stay longer and spend more. This is more important.” He pointed out that Indonesia’s tourism sector needed to go beyond achieving tourists arrivals and should focus on raising yields by attracting business events.

The 2018 IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting held in Bali from October 12-14, 2018 yielded an estimated revenue of 5.9 trillion rupiah (US$3.3 million) and the estimated spend from participants during their stay could touch 1.1 trillion rupiah. Indonesia’s capability of hosting events with more than 15,000 attendees will also be consolidated.

Hosea Andreas Runkat, chairman of the MICE Acceleration Team under the Ministry of Tourism, said: “We are now formulating a MICE development strategy that will become a reference for our working plan for 2019-2020. Our goal is to bid for seven international events.”