Driving tourist traffic to Indonesia

Promoting a beautiful destination like Indonesia, is a lady driven by her passion to make tourism in the country soar to greater heights. Nia Niscaya, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Indonesia, talks about her new role and the journey of the new administration, which is trying its best to ensure that the country becomes one of the most sought-after destinations in the world.

Shehara Rizly

Career diplomat Nia Niscaya is a vibrant personality that one would meet at many international travel trade forums. She has been instrumental in carrying out some of the most significant campaigns in the Middle East (ME) region. The entire face of the tourism sector will now reach a new pinnacle as the country reorganises to bring in more tourists to visit the destination. As Deputy Minister of Tourism Marketing Development II, Niscaya’s new portfolio will include preparation of strategies to increase the number of international tourists. The approach will be more customer centric with focus on understanding the needs of travellers and adaptation to tourists’ products and services. Her marketing development plan areas include Asia, Africa, America, Middle East and Europe markets.
Explaining the strategy for some focus areas falling under her purview, Niscaya says, “We will focus on the top three markets, namely China, Europe and India (many Indian expatriates live in the Middle East). We will also make efforts on other potential markets from Eastern, Southern and Central Asia, Middle East and Africa as well as other parts of the globe which are potential for the future development.”

Career diplomat to the fore
Niscaya is passionate about travel and tourism promotion. She retorts, “Anything to do with the tourism sector always excites me. My educational background in law have enabled me to easily understand the legal and regulatory aspects of making decisions. Additionally, my degree in business administration has helped me build my expertise in relation to our organisational performance.” Talking about her career journey, Niscaya shares, “Since the beginning of my career, I have been involved in the field of international cooperation. In 2008, I was promoted to Director of Promotion for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MiCE). In 2012, I took up a new challenge and became Director of International Tourism Promotion; and from 2015 until 2017, I was appointed as Director for International Promotion in charge for Europe, Middle East, America and Africa. One of my chief responsibilities was to increase the number of tourists from long haul markets and generate huge revenues. Some of the milestones accomplished offered dynamic changes in our market trends.” She continues to share that the number of foreign tourist arrivals from Asia, Europe, Middle East, America, and Africa had increased since 2014. Familiarisation trips for international media, travel agents and tour operators in collaboration with AccorHotels Group has occupied 2,500 rooms from 2014 to 2018. “Successful collaboration with local governments and tour operators was well fostered in one pavilion at ITB Berlin in 2013, one of the largest tourism exhibitions in the world,” the minister said.

Selling destinations on digital platforms
As technology becomes the centre point in every sphere, travel, tourism and hospitality too are steadily adapting to the new methodologies. Niscaya has a new game plan to make ‘wonderful Indonesia’ digitally savvy by ensuring that more promotions are done in digital platforms to keep up with the next generation of travellers who seek quick information at the click of a button. Niscaya explains, “In terms of marketing, we have focused on digital promotion. The tendency of customers to look for destinations through digital platforms (such as flights, hotel bookings and tour packages) is our biggest concern. Further, in 2018, we will promote ‘Visit Indonesia Wonderful Indonesia (VIWI)’ programme with targets of hot deal packages for 18 destinations in Indonesia. These packages will be promoted in the Middle East as well. The programme will include Hot Deals for off season, Calendar of Events featuring top 100 events promoted by Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Digital Destinations consisting of creative tourism products with ‘Instagrammable’ concepts.
Air connectivity is a critical success factor for boosting inbound tourist arrivals since almost 75 per cent of foreign tourists travel by air. The Ministry of Tourism will collaborate with airlines and wholesalers to improve accessibility to the region. On the other hand, promotion of destination packages cannot stand alone with conventional strategies. There is a need to develop it further through digital access.

Nation of spendthrifts
The spending capacity is always on a high note with the Middle Eastern travellers. Niscaya shares, “Last year, Indonesia saw 222,297 tourists from the Middle East. It may seem insignificant as a number, but drove big revenue. Middle Eastern tourists, on an average, spend more than USD 1,900 per person on a trip, based on our Ministry’s statistics. It is a big number compared to other markets (ASEAN market on average spend USD 684 per person on a trip, Asians USD 979, Europeans and Americans USD 1,500). This is why we always do our best to make them visit our country, again and again. Tourists from ME visit destinations to not only relax or relish the weather but also to shop, dine out and indulge in luxury.”

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