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Aussies urged to venture beyond Bali

Indonesian tourism will step up efforts to end Australia’s obsession with Bali and encourage tourists to travel further afield.

In a strategy outlined to agents and wholesalers last night in Sydney, and earlier in the week in Perth and Melbourne, officials will focus on building awareness of 13 destinations beyond Bali and promoting them in the Australian market.

“About 80% of Australians who visit Indonesia only go to Bali. That is a problem for us,” Vincent Jemadu, Indonesian ministry of tourism deputy director for America and the Pacific told Travel Today. “We have to look beyond Bali which is only a very small part of Indonesia.”

But achieving its aim will only happen by working closely with the trade, he said.

Product managers with responsibility for brochure content are being sent on famils to show them first hand the available options.

The development of several airports in the sprawling nation will also provide a boost, he said.

“Wholesalers are at the forefront of our strategy and we need work hand in hand with them,” Jemadu said. “We firstly need to take product managers beyond Bali. Without the trade we are nothing.”

Jakarta is being featured for the first time by Creative Holidays in an encouraging sign, he said.

Among the destinations set for greater promotion are Medan, Komodo, Kelimitu, Kendari, Lombok, Malang and Jogjakarta.

Two centre holidays combining Bali with another Indonesian destination will form part of the strategy.

Jemadu also told the trade the tourism ministry wants to focus on special interest holidays including history and heritage, spa and wellness, nature and ecotourism and cruise. The meetings and incentive market will also be a target.

Indonesia is targeting 1.1 million arrivals from Australia in 2012, a big increase on the 886,495 recorded in 2011.

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