B2B travel fair TIME Pasar Wisata in Indonesia is at crossroads. Moving back to Jakarta, the show should now look for a new dimension with more activities and theme seminars to be considered as the top event for Indonesia tourism sellers.
The 21st edition of Indonesia only B2B Tourism Trade Show TIME Pasar Wisata took place on Wednesday and Thursday in Jakarta. In its more than 20-year history, the show has gone from grand debuts to a more modest format, refocusing only on B2B top buyers for Indonesia. While the slogan “all Indonesia under one roof” remains a good way for travel trade to approach the world’s largest archipelago, the show has struggled over the last five years to expand.
According to Meity Robot, Chairwoman of TIME Pasar Wisata, the show has been challenged by Indonesia’s decentralization, implemented a decade ago: “With decentralization taking place in all provinces, we have seen the emergence of dozens of regional B2B travel shows. Just in Java, they are now shows for Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya among others. Consequently, the money which was before invested into TIME by provinces has been whittled away. Many provinces do not understand today that Indonesia still needs a centralized show where foreign buyers could in fact see under one roof all the offer from Indonesia’s tourism industry”, she explained.
The show was this year back to Jakarta after a decade turning all across the country.
“After hosting Pasar Wisata in Jakarta during the first decade, we then decided to venture to the provinces, in an attempt to promote new area. From 2004, TIME Pasar Wisata was then successfully hosted in Yogyakarta, Makassar, Lombok, Bandar Lampung, Padang and Bandah Aceh last year. In 2007, the show was coupled with PATA Travel Mart in Bali. But we are now again in Jakarta and we should from now stay there as it is ideally located, easy of reach and provide the potential to reach more buyers”, added Meity Robot.
The show has been organized quite late this year, due to delayed funding from the new administration at the Ministry of Tourism. The show finally managed to attract 93 buyers and 66 sellers from 16 Indonesian provinces, “up by 30% over the attendance in Aceh”, indicated Meity Robot. Buyers were generally satisfied of their conversation with the companies present at the show. Most buyers came from Malaysia, Singapore, the USA, India and the Netherlands.
However, Deputy Minister of Tourism for Marketing, Gede Pitana, indicated already its total support for next year. “We want to see more than 100 buyers from next year and we will work to be sure that TIME Pasar Wisata will expand again. TIME is part of our target of welcoming 10 million travellers a year and doubling this number until 2019. This is an ambitious task but we will do all we can to achieve it”, declared the Deputy Minister at the opening ceremony.
TIME Pasar Wisata will also get the strong commitment of the Indonesia Tourism Promotion Board, which was two decades ago one of the founders of TIME Pasar Wisata. Among ITPB members are 22 Indonesian Provinces which could then be potential participants for future TIME editions. ITPB will set up a budget to promote the show.
A way to strengthen future editions would also be to integrate half a day of conferences and seminars about Indonesian tourism with a conference showing trends data and debate around themes and destinations. Maritime tourism, gastronomy tourism but also low cost airlines expansion or hotel development could be interesting topics for the trade.
A more pro-active format with activities before or after the show could also boost travel agencies interest. No activities were for example organized this year at TIME –beside a rather classical two-hour tour of Jakarta. Maybe something should be done to bring more excitement into the show and turn TIME Pasar Wisata into a wonderful Indonesia experience…