Indonesia is hoping for a sharp rise in tourist arrivals from Chinese Muslims over the next few months following a successful trade visit to the country.
The Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia led a delegation of travels experts and businesses on a sales mission program to three key areas in China to showcase and promote its Halal offering.
Alongside presentations and seminars, the trade delegation developed key strategic partnerships with local communities, Muslim business groups and national Halal associations to help strengthen economic, tourism and trade ties.
Tourism chiefs believe the success of the visit to Xi’an, Yinchuan and Beijing will contribute to a significant spike in visitor arrivals from China in the next few months to hit the 2.4 million mark.
The visit to China is part of a wider initiative by Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia to target 20 million international tourists by 2019 including five million Muslim visitors.
Indonesia aims to become the world’s number one destination for Halal Tourism. The fast-growing Halal Tourism market is expected to be worth $243 billion by 2021.
The trade delegation was led by Riyanto Sofyan, chairman of the Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia.
“Every aspect of the trade mission was a resounding success and one we believe will bear immediate results for Indonesian tourism and trade,” said Mr Sofyan.
“The Chinese market is already a top international market for us but the visit showed us the huge potential we can still explore.
“During the visit we have laid the groundwork to forge strong ties with a number of Halal industry Associations, China’s Halal Food Chamber of Commerce and several Chinese Muslim communities in Xi’an, Yinchuan, and Beijing.
“These in itself are extremely valuable to us as they cover more than 300 companies that are focusing on the halal industry in the country and represent millions of Chinese Muslim families who currently choose Malaysia as the go-to holiday destination.
“These links are vital to our short and long-term success and we believe we have developed some very strong strategic partnerships as a result of the trip.”
Mr Sofyan added that the Chinese counterparts were especially intrigued and interested by the 10 new Bali destinations and the spread of halal tourism destinations and strong infrastructure across Indonesia.
Official data from The Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, has shown that from 2013 to 2016, Halal tourism has been growing significantly showing a rise of up to 15.5%.
Chinese tourists visit to Indonesia grew to 1,452,971 tourists in 2016 – 27% higher than the previous year.
Earlier this year, Indonesia improved its ranking for the second consecutive year by climbing one position to take the third spot as the top performing destination in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2017 – officially launched in Jakarta.
China and Indonesia are also part of the One Belt, One Road initiative, which aims to recreate the Silk Road and increase investment and tourism among countries on that road.