An official of the Department of Culture and Tourism has told the press that Indonesia is not capable of "vertical promotion" using international broadcast media due to a lack of needed funding.
Nia Nurcaya, Director for Conferences, Incentives and Promotion of the Marketing Division of the Department of Culture and Tourism, said, "in terms of the vertical promotion of tourism, Indonesia is left far behind by other neighboring nations, such as Malaysia."
Nia compared Indonesia's total annual budget for promotion of only US$20 million, a total that is one-fifth Malaysia's promotion budget estimated at US$100 million a year. This shortage of promotional funds makes it impossible for Indonesia to undertake major broadcast schedules, such as those done by Singapore and Malaysia.
Nia continued saying that in order for Indonesia to undertake an effective vertical promotion, an average of 15 advertisements a day must be placed with outlets like CNN. "But the cost of one day reaches Rp. 750 million (US$73,500) and with promotional funds of only US$20 million, you can imagine that Indonesian tourism can only be show a few times on CNN," explained Nia.
The limited funds available for promoting Indonesia cannot purchase advertising programs with major broadcast outlets. Indonesia can only buy advertising campaigns in selected single national markets and support overseas representative offices for the promotion of tourism.
Nia admits that the results of the limited Indonesian approach cannot be equated with the results of competing countries able to undertake extensive campaigns on international broadcast media. Instead, Indonesia is forced to content itself with trying to preserve and slowly grow existing markets.
Nonetheless, limited promotion on a number of fronts still yields significant results for Indonesian tourism. Total foreign tourism arrivals to Indonesia during the first quarter of 2009 increased 1.53% when compared to Q1 2008.
According to Nia, Indonesia must be thankful that in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis while competing destinations are suffering declining arrival numbers, arrivals continue to demonstrate modest growth.
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