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Overseas Tourism Promotion Poorly Coordinated?

Industry Leaders Call for Greater Professionalism in Overseas Tourism Marketing.

(3/3/2003) Leaders in Indonesia's tourism industry are complaining about a lack of coordination by the Government in the overseas promotion of tourism and a failure to fully involve the private sector in current promotional activities.

The Chairman of the Jakarta branch of the Association of Indonesian Tour Companies (ASITA), Herna P. Danuningrat, complained to the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia that the current tendency is for the private and public sectors to go their own separate ways in the promotion of national tourism. "It's ironic that many of the policies being issued by tourism official are incorrectly targeted, rendering promotions pointless as they fail to achieve the stated target for inbound tourism," she told the newspaper.

To support her point, Herna pointed to the choice of countries targeted for tourism promotion and the large number of government representatives included in overseas promotion trips. Claiming that the tax contribution to the Government from air tickets alone from travel agents in the Jakarta region exceeds US$ 542 million each year she said "it's therefore reasonable if a portion of that money is used for tourism promotion by the private sector."

Another tourism manager quoted in the same article described how many inbound travel agencies have lost tour groups following the Bali bomb attack. Some agencies, especially those depending on overland bus tours, have been very hard hit by cancellations.

Rudiana, a manager at Wita Tour said that "it is as though the Government is fixated on Bali's recovery and continues to involve itself in programs of its own design without any consultation with the tourism industry players who truly understand the intricacies of the travel market."