Banda Aceh to host Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo 2014

Aceh TIME2014JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Indonesian annual travel mart, the Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo (TIME) or Pasar Wisata Indonesia, this year will take place in Banda Aceh, the capital city of Aceh after being held in Padang last year. This premier tourism event is scheduled to be held on October 23-26, 2014 at Hermes Palace Hotel. Entering its 20th year of conduct, TIME is organized to promote Indonesia as a tourist destination in the international market and at the same time raise the country’s image as a global travel destination.

Meity Robot, Chairwoman of the Steering Committee of TIME 2013 said that for the last three years TIME has been held in Sumatra, including Padang last year and Lampung for two consecutive years. Before that, TIME had been organized in Java and Eastern Indonesia (Makassar and Lombok) for 18 years. “We are happy to announce that TIME this year will take place in Banda Aceh,” said Meity.

“The shifting of TIME to the capital city of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam is aimed at promoting Aceh to the international market and speeding up the development and improvement of infrastructure, tourism facilities and tourism attractions in the region, so that at the end the destination could establish itself as a global travel destination. It will attract more tourist arrivals to the island and speed up the improvement of infrastructure and encourage more investors to the region to develop new hotels as well as tourism attractions,” Meity went on.

Aceh has become a strategic destination in Indonesia due its accessibility as well as sound infrastructure such as a wide range of accommodation options and various tourism attractions. “Hosting TIME would allow international buyers to take a closer look at the products on offer and aid local tourism stakeholders in selling their products overseas,” she added.

There are six (regional) gateways in Sumatra. These include Banda Aceh, Medan, Pekanbaru, Padang, Palembang and Batam. “While direct regional services are still limited to Malaysia and Singapore, destinations in Sumatra can use these regional hubs to attract travelers from beyond these countries. Banda Aceh is now a visa-on-arrival entry point. There are two direct international flights to Banda Aceh from Kuala Lumpur, and four times a week from Penang. Domestically, there are daily flights between Jakarta and Banda Aceh by the national carrier, Garuda Indonesia, and other airlines,” Meity concluded.

Head of Culture and Tourism of Banda Aceh, Reza Fahlevi, said, “TIME offers good opportunity for us to promote tourism attractions available in Aceh to the international market as well as widen business network among the domestic tourism industrial players and international buyers.”

As every year, top industry policy-makers, sellers and buyers of Indonesian tourism products and services will be participating. TIME accommodates the interests of local industry players seeking to introduce their tourism products and services to the international markets. The event will feature the best of Indonesia’s tourist attractions, including exciting destinations and special interests as well as top tourist facilities in the country. The annual mart is run on a yearly rotating basis to promote as much provinces to the world as possible in the future.

TIME 2014 is organized by the Indonesian Tourism Council together with the Provincial Government of Aceh and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy of Indonesia and the entire tourism components in Indonesia.

TIME 2014 is also supported by Garuda Indonesia as Official Airlines, other supporting airlines, Association of the Indonesian Tours & Travel Agencies (ASITA) Aceh, Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Indonesian Conference and Convention Association (INCCA), and Pacto Convex as the event organizer.

Last year, TIME in Padang attracted 83 buyers from 27 countries dominated by Malaysia, Indonesia, Poland, The Netherlands, India and Singapore, with 81 Indonesian sellers occupying 73 booths. The percentage of sellers based on industry covered Hotel, Resort & Spa (75%), NTO (10%), Tour Operator/Travel Agent (7%), Adventure/Activity Holiday (3%), Airline (1.5%), and Others (Hotel Management, etc. (8.5%)).