Jakarta (Antara Bali) - Indonesia is expected to see robust tourism trade at the Internationale Tourismus-BÃ¶rse Berlin, better known as ITB Berlin, in Germany this year.
Recognised as the world's largest travel trade expo, ITB Berlin will be held at the Messe Berlin International Convention Center for five days from March 6-10, 2013.
Indonesia has participated in the travel trade expo since 1967, playing a significant role over the years, and now, it is the first Asian country to be named an official partner country for ITB Berlin 2013.
"By becoming an official partner country for ITB Berlin 2013, the government of Indonesia will attempt to capture the European tourism market," the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry's promotion director, Esthy Reko Astuti, said.
According to her, ITB Berlin will give Indonesia a major opportunity to optimally increase the number of tourists from European countries who visit Indonesia.
Esthy noted that during the event, European tourists will be encouraged to visit not only the main tourist destination of Bali but also other tourist attractions across Indonesia.
"Therefore, we are going to intensively promote other potential tourist attractions in Sumatra, Java, Lombok, Flores, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua," she went on.
According to www.indonesia.travel, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is expected to attend the opening ceremony of ITB Berlin 2013 on March 5.
The opening ceremony is also scheduled to be graced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Indonesia's Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Pangestu; Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit; President and CEO of ITB Berlin, Raimund Hosch; and more than 4,500 distinguished invitees, delegates, and members of the press.
As the co-host of the Opening Dinner, Indonesia's cultural troupes of musicians as well as master chefs from a number of provinces around Indonesia will be specially flown in to provide an exquisite Indonesian atmosphere and warm hospitality at the Opening Dinner.
Guests and delegates at the Opening Dinner will be warmly welcomed by traditional dancers from Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, and Bali, who will perform Indonesia's dramatic and colourful dances to traditional music.
Dancers from the province of Aceh will perform the highly synchronized Saman Dance, a UNESCO Intangible World Cultural Heritage icon.
Meanwhile, the deputy minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Sapta Nirwandar, has said Indonesia would offer great potential for Germany, its foremost trading partner in the European Union.
"Our participation in ITB Berlin 2013 will provide a long-term boost to our popularity in the German and international market, and with our wide range of tourism products, we will send out a positive signal to both trade visitors and the general public," he stated.
He noted that during the event, Indonesia would warmly welcome all its guests and would serve them with all the luxuries a tourist could ever want.
ITB Berlin 2013 is expected to attract more than 170,000 visitors. Of these, some 113,000 trade visitors and 11,000 exhibitors from 180 countries have confirmed their attendance.
At the same time, 91 companies from various parts of the Indonesian archipelago, and offering all tourism services, will be ready to network with German and other international tour operators, airlines, and agents from the worldwide travel industry.
They will also try to answer questions posed by ITB participants and visitors regarding family holidays in Indonesia, covering everything from luxury resorts to diving; surfing; and adventure tours that include meeting orangutans at Tanjung Puting in Central Kalimantan, getting close to Komodo dragons, climbing the rugged volcanoes of Mt. Rinjani on Lombok, and scaling the heights of Mt. Bromo in East Java.
Nirwandar said last December that Indonesia would promote itself as a tourist destination not only at ITB Berlin but also at Cruise Shipping Miami and IMEX Frankfurt in 2013.
IMEX Frankfurt from May 21-23, 2013, is a unique international trade show that will host thousands of meetings and will attract incentive-travel executives and buyers from around the world, including Indonesia.
More than 8,500 visitors from 90 countries, including thousands of German decision-makers, are expected to attend the world's third-largest outbound-meetings and incentive-travel market.
Meanwhile, the Cruise Shipping Miami event to be held from March 11-14, 2013, in Florida in the United States is one of the most professionally organised trade shows in the global cruise industry.
Nirwandar pointed out that funding for the nine major events would be provided by the Marketing Directorate General of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.
"Some Rp607,700 billion will be required for tourism promotion programs and the improvement of Indonesia's image, among other things. The state budget has allocated Rp2,052 trillion to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in 2013," he noted.
Besides this, six other tourism events being held at home this year include the Semarang Marathon in Central Java in June; the Pilgrim Tourism event in Surabaya, East Java, in June 2013; the Tour de Singkarak V in West Sumatra in June; Sabang International Regatta II in Sabang, Aceh, in September; Festival Timoresia II in Ambon, Maluku, in October; and Musi Triboatton II in Palembang, South Sumatra, in November.
In light of the intensive promotion, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu remarked that Indonesia saw a significant improvement in the contribution of the tourism and creative economy to the nation's gross domestic product throughout 2012.
Marie said the industry has a strategic role in advancing the national economy since it has made a significant contribution to the country's GDP growth and workforce recruitment and has helped boost business amongst smallÂ¿middle enterprise firms.
Marie explained that the tourism industry alone has contributed four percentage points to the GDP growth, amounting to Rp296.97 trillion (some US$30.8 billion), and has employed 8.53 million people, which accounts for 7.72 percent of the country's overall workforce recruitment in 2012.
Marie noted that Indonesia will see robust tourism trade in 2013 as it gains the trust of the international community in hosting many international events across the country. (*/T007)