Indonesian Minister for Culture and Tourism, I Gde Ardika, visited Bali on Saturday, October 25, 2003 to address the Annual General Meeting of the Bali and Nusa Tenggara Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) speaking on the topic of marketing challenges facing the tourism sector. Among the topics touched upon by the Minister, included:
• According to the Minister, tourism has entered into a "new paradigm" in which the private sector is in "the driver's seat" guiding tourism development. The Minister emphasized that tourism's traditional management "top down" hierarchy has now been traded for a "bottom up" approach, controlled by those working in tourism.
• Following the back-to-back hardships of the past several years, Indonesia's marketing focus has moved away from long-haul passengers in Europe and America in favor of short and medium-haul passengers from the Asia-Pacific.
• The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is taking a stronger role in the promotion of inbound tourism. Meanwhile, ASEAN is expanding its cooperation in promoting tourism beyond the 10 member nations of the Association, including China, Japan, and South Korea.
• The Minister said that the economic success of the Indian economy and the substantial size of its upper middle class market suggested a huge untapped potential market for Indonesian tourism.
• Close cooperation between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has resulted in basic tourism training for many diplomats posted abroad, fostering greater support for Indonesian travel from the Nation's Diplomatic Corps.
• In order to give the tourism industry a greater voice, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has established separate working groups for each market segment. These working groups include leaders from tourism's private sector who advise the Government in formulating marketing strategies.
• The Minister encouraged Bali to safeguard the quality of its tourism products, striving to achieve "zero defects" in terms of security, service, and cleanliness.
The Minister concluded his remarks by reminding all of the basic personality traits that must be possessed by those working in the tourism trade, namely integrity and friendliness.
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