Menpar Arief Yahya always keeps “arrows” to aim at the right target. At the 2016 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, UAE, there is an object that he specifically wants to shoot. Namely halal tourism which is often referred to as family friendly tourism terms. “We have Lombok, NTB, which has received the 2015 World Best Halal Destination and 2015 Honeymoon Best World 2015,” said Arief Yahya in Dubai.
One hotel in Jakarta, Sofyan Betawi Hotel also received the 2015 World Best Halal Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Three awards that have raised the prestige of halal destination in Indonesia last year. Getting that predicate, beating many competitors around the world is not a simple job. “Therefore we continue to promote Lombok, incidentally at the largest travel mart in all Arab countries,” he explained.
Chairman of the Ministry of Tourism’s Halal Tourism Acceleration Team, Riyanto Sofyan explained, there were three big points that had been done at the 2016 Dubai ATM. First, it had cooperated with Al Rais Travel Group and Institute. They will promote Family Friendly Tourism Indonesia. “They will make a joint package, Indonesia-Malaysia and Thailand,” Riyanto explained.
Secondly, his party has met with Mr. Nermin Merdzanovic – Halal Croatia for joint promotion with the Arab market. They are interested in joint promotions and joint packages to Indonesia.
Third, the concept of Indonesia Incorporated. The Indonesian Embassy in UAE will make FamTrip bring Media in the Middle East in May the third week to fly and see Lombok, West Sumatra and Aceh as well as Jakarta and West Java. This is a golden opportunity for halal tourism in Indonesia to be better known by audiences in the Middle East.
In addition, Riyanto has also met Andy Buchanan, the organizer of the World Halal Travel Awards. He started the Marketing / PR campaign with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Tourism Ministers Arab League and the Tourism Ministers OIC Memberstates. “This will be a joint promotion effort, between the Arab Emirate to Indonesia, and vice versa,” Riyanto explained.
Deputy Assistant of Marketing Development for Middle Eastern Europe and Africa Europe Nia Niscaya, explained that Kemenpar support for halal tourism is very large, because their outbound is more than 140 million people every year. Every summer, the temperature is close to 50 degrees Celsius, they can’t go anywhere. Just stay home, indoor, in the room. If you want to get out, only at night. “Because of this the Wonderful Indonesia booth is green, rice fields in Ubud,” Nia said undoubtedly.
Usually, the Wonderful Indonesia booth uses design photos and videos of the beauty of the beach, under the sea and the uniqueness of the culture. This time it’s green, trees, rice, terraces, rivers and running water. On the left and right of the stage there are also green, red, purple eggplant and fruit vegetables in the basket that are still fresh.
At the right corner, there is a counter with the Garuda Indonesia logo, and two vertical fruit arrangements similar to the usual ones arranged on the heads of consecutive women walking on rice fields in Ubud, Bali. The ornament has directly described the Bali destination, an icon of Indonesian tourism. In the upper right corner of the photo of halal tourism awards displayed on the leading stage background. Because the main market for halal tourism is the Middle East.
The cultural arts displayed are Sasando, a typical musical instrument from Lombok. Combined with violin which makes the Wonderful Indonesia booth class even cooler. “I see, this year is more crowded, hopefully more transactions in the tourism industry,” he said.