A group of 13 leading mainland Chinese tour operators on a familiarization tour of Indonesia paused to tell the press why Indonesia's share of the outbound Chinese travel market remains relatively small.
Mr. Liu Shijun, Deputy Director-General, China National Tourism Administration, spoke to the press in Jakarta on Wednesday, June 1, 2005, following a meeting with Indonesia’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, as part of a three-city tour of Indonesia with a group of 13 mainland Chinese travel agents.
According to Mr. Liu, the main factors preventing the development of Chinese tourism to Indonesia are:
• The lack of visa issuing centers for Chinese travelers. At present, visas are only issued for Indonesian travel from Beijing and Guangzhou, serving a large country with a population base of more than 1 billion people.
• The lack of direct flights from China to Indonesia, compelling Chinese travelers to take inconvenient and time-consuming connecting flights despite the relatively close proximity geographically of the two nations.
• The lack of promotional information on Indonesia available in China as compared to other ASEAN countries which have aggressive publication and publicity programs in place.
A Massive Market
According to Mr. Liu, an estimated 80 million Chinese take a foreign trip each year. Served by some 6 million travel agents, 36.8 million or 46% of Chinese travelers visit one of the 10 ASEAN nations with Indonesia netting approximately 83,000. This is the equivalent market share of about one-tenth of one percent of all Chinese travelers for Indonesia and two-tenths of one percent market share among Chinese spending their holidays in an ASEAN destination.
Mr. Liu emphasized that most Chinese travelers are looking for holiday itineraries that are laden with activities including mountain trekking, water sports, and visits to historical spots.
In 2004, only 29.651 Mainland Chinese visitors spent their holiday in Bali.
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