Publicly listed tour and travel company PT Panorama Sentrawisata aims to lure more travelers to Indonesia by expanding its business to ASEAN and European markets, an effort that is in line with the government’s campaign to double the number of foreign tourist arrivals within three years.
The company, through its subsidiary PT Destinasi Tirta Nusantara, which organizes trips in Indonesia for foreign travelers, has recently invested Rp 2.2 billion (US$169,400) to acquire inbound tour operator PT Buaya Travel Indonesia, which serves tourists from Europe, the US and India.
Panorama has also entered the Polish market and aims to attract around 5,000 Polish travelers during the period of June 2016 to March 2017 through the introduction of a direct charter flight service from Warsaw.
Furthermore, the company plans to tap new markets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the UK and the Scandinavian countries Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden.
“For the UK market, we want to optimize the existing commercial flights by [national flag carrier] Garuda Indonesia,” Panorama president director Budi Tirtawisata said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration wants to boost the number of tourists visiting the country to 20 million by 2019, double the number recorded last year.
In an effort to reach the target, the government in March introduced free 30-day visas for citizens of 169 countries, including the UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Australia.
The policy has led to a rapid increase in foreign arrivals. The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) reported that a total of 915,200 foreigners arrived in Indonesia in May, with China and Australia accounting for the largest and second-largest number of tourists.
Tourism Ministry data show that most tourists from the neighboring country entered Indonesia through Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali between January and May, with 411,768 visitors.
Ratna Suranti, deputy assistant to the international tourism marketing strategy division at the Tourism Ministry, said the many international events held in May had attracted visitors.
“They included [sports and recreation event] Bali Interhash 2016, which involved around 6,000 global participants and helped trigger the rise in foreign tourist arrivals there,” she said recently.
Looking at such figures, Panorama sees big opportunities in the Southeast Asian market, especially after the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of last year to create an integrated regional market for capital, labor, goods and services.
“It certainly is a potential market for us, as Southeast Asian travelers currently can simply enter the country. They usually come for a short trip and stay only for four days top,” Budi went on.
Panorama booked Rp 2.38 trillion in sales during the first half of the year, up 19.1 percent annually, thanks largely to strong performance by its inbound travel and leisure business segments.
Meanwhile, it recorded Rp 122.65 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), up by 7.7 percent year-on-year.
In another effort to meet its ambitious tourism target, the government has picked 10 emerging tourist destinations to be developed and massively promoted, namely Lake Toba, Labuan Bajo, Mandalika, Mount Bromo, Morotai, Tanjung Lesung, Thousand Islands, Wakatobi, Belitung and Yogyakarta.
Considering the high potential of those tourism spots, Panorama has been weighing its options to expand its hotel business to those areas, particularly to Yogyakarta, Lake Toba and Mount Bromo.
Budi said Panorama had allocated Rp 50 billion for capital expenditure this year, among other things to upgrade its IT facilities and conduct a number of business acquisitions. However, after the first half of this year, the realization of capital expenditure only stood at Rp 15 billion. thejakartapost.com