Bali Discovery Tour's President Director, J.M. Daniels, was recently invited by Swisscontact to travel to Ende on the Island of Flores in East Nusa Tenggara to address the heads of the provincial and regional tourism offices.
Asked to speak on ways to develop tourism in the outlaying regions of Indonesia, Daniels made the following practical observations in support of his suggestion that the most cost effective way of promoting Indonesian regional tourism is for provincial governments to open tourism promotion offices in Bali.
Here's why Daniels thinks this is an idea whose "time has come":
• Bali continues to serve as the gateway to tourism for Indonesia. The majority of tourists visiting remote regions of the Country pass through Bali first.
• Major overseas travel wholesalers who feature Bali in their brochures and catalogues make at least one annual visits to Bali each year. This creates ready opportunities to promote "Bali & Beyond" packages to the major travel players, the people most able to drive tourism to the provinces.
• Bali-based provincial tourism promotion offices could also promote "Bali & Beyond" travel programs through link-ups with the various Indonesian tour companies operating in Bali. There is a definite market for last-minute extensions to other regions to be sold to tourists already vacationing in Bali.
• A Bali-based tourism office could create cost effective destination awareness programs for a province by creating a series of themed cultural and food shows in cooperation with major hotels in Bali. These events would showcase their destinations to the large travel industry resident in Bali as well as to visiting tourists.
• Working together with local incentive and event organizers, a provincial tourism office in Bali could support professional event organizers wishing to have themed evenings of entertainment in Bali using musicians and dancers from the provinces.
• To be truly effective, those appointed to head a Bali-based provincial tourism representative office should be drawn from the private sector and answerable to all the tourism stakeholders from the province they represent. Budgets and work programs would need to be put in place to prevent representatives from becoming the handmaidens of visiting delegations from the province passing through Bali.
Daniels went on to suggest to the tourism officials that an offfice in Bali promoting Flores tourism, for instance, could very quickly become cost justified in terms of the awareness of the destination and increased tourism flows such an office was almost certain to produce.
Swisscontact is a foundation from Switzerland dedicated to assisting the development of local communities and small and medium sized enterprises in developing countries around the world. Daniels' visit to the island is part of a larger project by Swisscontact to create awareness of tourism's potential for economic growth to the people of Flores and held small and medium-sized tourism companies promote their products to the outside world.
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