Indonesia is seeking to boost its cruise ship tourism market as the number of foreign visitors arriving in the archipelago by cruise ship has increased in the past three years.
According to a report by kompas.com on Sunday, the Tourism Ministry has set a target of welcoming at least 430,000 foreign tourists by cruise ships this year.
“The figure represents a 20 percent increase per year. Meanwhile, the target for Indonesian port calls in 2019 is 667, or an average increase of 17.7 percent per year,” Tourism Ministry accelerated marine tourism head Indroyono Soesilo said as quoted by kompas.com.
Indroyono added that the potential market for foreign cruise travelers from East Asia reached 2 million people per year, meanwhile from Australia and New Zealand, the potential is 1.3 million people per year.
Seeking to tap into the potential market, Indonesia participated in Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) Cruise360 Australasia cruise conference in Sydney, Australia, on Friday.
Read more on how Lombok has welcomed Cruises in 2019
“Our aim is to increase the number of foreign cruise travelers as the potential is still huge. We can promote our island destinations to these tourists,” Indroyono said.
During the event, the Indonesian delegation also met with cruise ship operators such as Carnival, Holland American Lines, Cunard, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, Dream Cruises, Scenic Cruises and Coral Expedition.
According to Indroyono, all cruise ship operators were eager to increase their visits to the country.
“The government has also promoted deregulation and developed seaports and terminal infrastructure for cruise ships across the archipelago, such as the availability of fuel for cruise ships in Ambon Port [Maluku], clean water systems, waste management systems and wave height measuring equipment in Benoa-Bali Bay,” he said.
During the event, Indonesia promoted 19 ports as cruise ship destinations in the country, including Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Belitung in Bangka Belitung Islands, Balikpapan in East Kalimantan, Rinca in East Nusa Tenggara and Ambon.
“In the next five years, there will be 127 new cruise ships built across the globe and 27 of them are giant ones that can accommodate 3,000 to 7,000 tourists,” Indroyono said, adding that these ships needed tourist destinations to be explored.
Although Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines have been loudly promoting their cruise ship destinations, Indroyono is optimistic that Indonesia still serves as an interesting priority for operators in the industry.