INDONESIA’S Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, formerly the CEO of state-owned telecommunication company Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), will open the third WIT (Web In Travel) Indonesia conference scheduled for Bali on April 30.
Arief was appointed minister late last year when Indonesia’s new president Joko Widodo made tourism a stand-alone ministry, marking a shift in the nation’s attitude towards the industry. Tourism has never had a single ministry to itself in Indonesia.
Arief has said that part of his assignment is to improve and expand Indonesian tourism marketing, especially through online media.
WIT Indonesia is a one-day conference focused on the online travel industry. It is the Indonesian edition of the Singapore-based WIT Conference, Asia/Pacific’s largest online travel event, which attracts the most influential and key players in travel technology, distribution and marketing.
This is the first WIT Indonesia to be held in Bali. The first two conferences were held in Jakarta.
Phocuswright’s Indonesia Online Travel Overview: Arrived With a Bang, Brace for the Boom points to a growing market with huge opportunities for the online segment.
The global authority on travel intelligence projected that in 2014, Indonesian travel gross bookings will grow 37% over 2013, making it the second fastest-growing travel market in Asia Pacific after India (39%) through the forecast period.
While offline channels dominate travel sales in Indonesia, where just 10% of all travel was booked online in 2013, a young, social and mobile population will create shifts in the market that will be the focus of discussion during the WIT Indonesia conference.
More than 30 speakers from leading global brands such as Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook and prominent local companies will discuss the latest trends and issues in the online travel space, and the opportunities in the Indonesian market. Phocuswright will also present its latest study on Indonesia.
Five travel start-ups have also been selected to take part in the WIT Indonesia Start-Up Pitch which aims to identify the most promising newcomers in the industry. A winner will be selected by a panel of judges on April 30, following their live pitches to the conference delegates.
“We’re excited to be bringing our conference to Bali this year,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder of WIT. “These are exciting times for Indonesia. Tourism has never had a ministry to itself and we are honoured that the Minister of Tourism has accepted our invitation to open our event.
“It shows the importance Indonesia is placing on tourism and the fastest growing segment, which is the digital channel.”
Indonesia is the sixth biggest market in the world in terms of Internet users, with 83.7 million users about 24% of the total population own a smartphone, while 84% own a mobile phone and mobile is tipped to be the biggest game-changer following the government decision to grant licences to four providers for 4G LTE development in 2015.