With its remarkable growth of 70 per cent in arrivals to France last year to become the largest visitor source from South-east Asia, it’s no wonder Indonesia is now a new focus market for the European nation.
In an interview with TTG Asia during a recent visit to Jakarta, Morad Tayebi, regional director ASEAN of Atout France, said: “Although the total number of arrivals to France dropped by some 1.5 million last year, we have seen tremendous growth from Indonesia, and a 15-20 per cent increase from the Philippines and 10 per cent from Vietnam (the latter two are new markets to France).”
Arrivals from Indonesia last year totalled 150,000 – with first-timers making up a majority – surpassing even France’s mature markets of Malaysia and Singapore.
Tayebi is optimistic that the number of arrivals from Indonesia will surge even higher in the coming years.
“We are expecting arrivals from Indonesia to exceed 200,000 this year,” he said. “We believe that within two years, Indonesia will take over South Korea and will become the third biggest market in Asia after China and Japan in five years.”
Part of the reasons fuelling the market’s rapid growth, according to Tayebi, could be attributed to Atout France’s appointment of an Indonesian representative to work with the travel trade in 2015, in addition to the implementation of the 48-hours’ Schengen Visa application process by the French embassy in Jakarta last year – by far the fastest visa service offered by any European mission in Indonesia.
Although Jakarta is the key target market for outbound travel, Atout France also sees growth potential in Indonesia’s secondary destinations, having organised a training seminar in Surabaya and Medan a few weeks ago plus a similar one planned for Jogjakarta later this year.
To encourage the Indonesian outbound trade to expand their products beyond Paris, Tayebi added that the seminars will highlight other French regions like Normandy, France Riviera, Burgundy, Bordeuax and Lourdes.
He elaborated: “I also want to push halal tourism because we want to show that France is a Muslim-friendly destination. We have the biggest Muslim community in Europe; we are used to hosting Muslim travellers.”
Apart from inviting travel companies to travel events in France this year, Atout France will also bring suppliers from French provincial regions for a sales mission in Jakarta in October and organise its biggest trade event in South-east Asia this year with a three-day workshop, incentive programme and gala dinner for some 100 delegates in November.
Source: http://www.ttgasia.com/, 22 May 2017
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