Spotlight on Indonesia
29 March 2022
It has been six months since your last update. What recent changes are impacting life in Indonesia now?
Life is almost back to normal in Indonesia. With 77 per cent (156 million) of the Indonesian population double vaccinated and 10 per cent having received their booster dose, the government has eased COVID-19 restrictions. School children are back in class, and malls, restaurants and outdoor recreation parks can operate at 75 per cent capacity. Businesses are also permitted to operate with 75 per cent of their work force in the office. Additionally, on 22 March the Indonesian Government abolished quarantine for inbound travellers which removes the major barrier for outbound travel as Indonesians can now return without quarantine.
Can you share insights into your plans to support recovery from the Indonesian market?
We have launched the ‘Australia, Yours to Explore’ campaign to welcome back Indonesians and to convert the demand for Australia into bookings. Aligned with Australia’s border reopening in February, we also launched conversion activities through social channels with key distribution partners in Jakarta and Surabaya including Avia Tour, Dwidaya Tour, Golden Rama Tour, Smailing Tour, Wita Tour, Celindo Tour & Monas Tour.
Our partnerships with Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines and Qantas are also important as they restore connectivity from Jakarta to Australia’s gateways and rebuild capacity linking the two nations.
Our recent focus for the Aussie Specialist Program has been to support agents on understanding immigration and border entry requirements as well as to provide updates on new products to appeal to the Indonesian traveller. Throughout March, we have trained 1,237 Aussie Specialists.
In the incentive sector, during the Business Events Asia Showcase held during March, we identified significant pent-up demand with 15 leads already in the pipeline.
In April, we will launch the Australia Online Travel Fair in South and South East Asia, bringing together key airline, industry and trade partners with the objective of generating forward bookings for the next 12 months.
How is the Indonesia travel trade faring?
Our trade partners in Indonesia are starting to operate with 70 per cent of staff and gradually will increase staffing as travel enquiries rise.
Earlier this month, Tourism Australia joined the Astindo Hybrid Travel Fair – the first consumer Travel Fair since the pandemic began. Australia was a preferred destination during the fair and generated more than 200 passenger sales to Australia over the weekend event. This March and April there are six travel fairs scheduled by Dwidaya Tour, Golden Rama Tour, Antavaya, and SQ Travel Fair and Garuda Online Travel Fair.
Incentive and small corporate groups are slowly growing since the Australian border reopened with four incentive groups ranging from 15 to 40 passengers departing in April and May.
Are you seeing evidence of any emerging consumer travel trends that are relevant for travel to Australia?
More than 250 thousand Indonesian working holiday makers are eligible for the Working Holiday Maker Visa Application Charge (VAC) waiver program. Since the announcement of the VAC waiver program in January this year, there was a significant increase in working holiday maker visa applications from Indonesia.
Since Australia’s border reopened in February, the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market has been the first to resume. We expect a further increase in travel to Australia over the upcoming May/June Indonesian school holidays.
And personally, what is on your wish list of experiences when you get the chance to return to Australia?
After two years I cannot wait to travel to Australia to enjoy delicious food and wine, beautiful scenery and reconnect with my Australian friends. Here’s my top five experiences from my long wish list.
- Explore Tasmania, experience the Seafood Seduction cruise and see the Southern Lights
- Road trip along the Great Alpine Road in Victoria or Perth to Broome in Western Australia
- Sleep under the stars on a pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef
- Experience Vivid Sydney
- And finally, seeing everyone again at the Australian Tourism Exchange!