Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Indonesia and Pakistan stand proudly together; ties cemented: Andi Bastari

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Indonesia has been ranked as the ninth-fastest growing tourist sector in the world, the third-fastest growing in Asia, fastest-growing in Southeast Asia and the destination of about 16.10 million foreign tourists in 2019: Deny Basuki

A.M.Bhatti/DNA

ISLAMABAD: Charge D’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Islamabad, Mr. Andi Ahmad Bastari has said Pakistan and Indonesia stand proudly together as two of the largest Muslim populated countries and emerging economies of creative and talented people.

In recent years, Indonesia-Pakistan bilateral relations have seen significant development as the two countries continuously endeavor to expand their all-round cooperation including in the areas of trade & economy, academic linkages and tourism.

He made these remarks during a get-together organized by the Indonesian embassy. Stakeholders from the tourism industry, media, travel agents and participants of the FAMTRIPS were invited to attend and share their experiences.

He further said it was great pleasure and honor for him to chair this meeting with the representatives of the travel and tourism and media industry and have been participating in the Embassy’s FAMTRIP Program that aims to build strong Indonesian tourism profile in Pakistan.

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Indeed, this meeting provides us a timely platform where we can discuss, exchange views and learn from one another experiences and suggestions to have better understanding of the issues and plan better next time when organizing promotional programs and events, he added.

Mr. Bastari said, tourism has been one of the fattest growing industries in the world. In addition to the opportunities for recreation and cultural exchange, tourism industry has emerged as a big source to generate employment opportunities, grow service sector and help earn foreign exchange. Hence, tourism spur the overall economic growth worldwide.

Indonesia takes pride of its world class tourist destination. It receives millions of foreign tourists from all corners of the world annually. In 2019 alone, Indonesia received over 16 million tourists from around the globe, he added.

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However, it is also true that in the absence of the insufficient marketing and promotion the outbound tourists in Pakistan are unaware of the huge and diverse tourism opportunities in Indonesia and resultantly tourist’s number from Pakistan to Indonesia has remained far below its true potential.

Similarly, Pakistan also offers many great opportunities to the international tourists such as ecotourism and adventure tourism in its northern areas and the archeological and heritage tourism in the world famous cities of Taxila, Lahore and Mohenjodaro.

The Embassy is of the view that there exists immense scope of the two way tourism between the two countries and a coherent projection plan based on local dimensions could easily send the tourists traffic number up manifold.

Mr. Deny Tri Basuki the Counselor also spoke on the occasion. He said The FAMTRIP, to some extent, has been helpful in creating awareness in Pakistan about tourism opportunities in Indonesia. However, there is still lot more needed to be done to bring the tourists traffic between the two countries to its true potential.

Since most of the distinguished guests at this event have been to Indonesia,therefore,taking into consideration— Mr. Ansar Bhatti views,Mr Aftab, Mr Saifuddin as well as my dear journalists and tour operators experiences, and their suggestions was important to help improve the FAMRTRIP effectiveness to better achieve its ultimate objective.

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Mr. Deny said Indonesia has been ranked as the ninth-fastest growing tourist sector in the world, the third-fastest growing in Asia, fastest-growing in Southeast Asia and the destination of about 16.10 million foreign tourists in 2019.

Despite blessed with internationally recognized great diverse tourism potential, our two brotherly countries with roughly half a billion combined population, had unsatisfactory and negligible two way tourists’ traffic between them.

If examined the recent statistics, one is flabbergasted/surprised to discover that the number of tourist arrival in Indonesia from Pakistan has remained very nominal and lagged way behind, even when compared with the countries in the South Asian region.

In 2019 Indonesia received roughly 15 thousands visitors from Pakistan, and this meager number was only the half of the Sri Lankan 30 thousands tourists that visited Indonesia last year.

Estimates suggest that Pakistan was a booming market for about 50 million domestic tourists while outbound tourist’s number from Pakistan had also surged and crossed 2 million mark lately.

These fantastic numbers were self-explanatory and should give us more confidence that Pakistani tourist arrivals in Indonesia could significantly grow and required synergized efforts involving marketing and promotion, use of the technological tools, designing affordable travel packages and visa facilitation, he added.

Mr. Deny said that civil aviation authority has approved Lion Air which is the Indonesia’s largest privately run low-cost airline to come to Pakistan and will start its operation as soon as the situation is right.

Recently, the Embassy has doubled the number of the Visa Drop box facility companies. This step is intended to facilitate visa applicants and tourists better.

He added, Tourism has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak as countries around the world imposed travel restrictions and suffered economic slowdown.

The Indonesian Government has been able to contain the spread of the virus and was now gearing up to reopen tourist destinations for the international tourists by the end of the year.

Understandably, it will take some time before the tourism and leisure activities are back to pre COVID levels.

Raza Aftab, Ansar Mahmood Bhatti Saifuddin also spoke on the occasion and shared their experiences with the audiences. The Embassy also showcased various videos prepared by FAMTRIP participants, which drew great attention of the attendees.

Full coverage of the event shall be published in the coming issue of CENTRELINE magazine.






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