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Idyll sights of Indonesia beckon

The Star (Metro North), Malaysia • News by Jeremy Tan



Country's popular travel attractions to be featured at MATTA Fair Penang

BE charmed by Wonderful Indonesia at the MATTA Fair Penang in the Straits Quay Convention Centre this Friday to Sunday.

The Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia will be spotlighting the unique and diverse attractions throughout the vast archipelago.

Seek out its Phinisi Ship-themed S4sqm booth featuring scenic imagery from 10 priority destinations including Lake Toba, Borobudur and Mandalika.

Indonesian travel agents and tour operators, in partnership with local agents, will be offering many attractive packages. Osrinikita Zubhana, vice consul for Information.

Social and Cultural Affairs from the Indonesian Consulate-General in Penang, said this is the first time the country is participating in the fair.

"Among Asean countries, Malaysia is one of our main markets with 1,238,376 arrivals in 2017, up 1.05% compared to 2016 with 1,225,458.  

'This is the fourth largest sector after China, Europe and Singapore.

For 2018, our Ministry of Tourism targets an increase of 13% to 1.4mil arrivals," she told a press conference on Tuesday.

Their booth will also feature stakeholders from 10 provincial destinations namely Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Kepri, South Sumatra, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java and Bah.

Also expected to generate much interest are Palcmbang and Jakarta which will be hosting major events in the 2018 Asian Games kicking off in August, and Bali that will host the IMF World Bank Group Annual Meeting in Octobcr.

With scores of visitors set to descend on these destinations, as well as others like Bantcn, Bandung, Lombok, Komodo, Tana Toraja and Banyuwangi, industry players have prepared around 135 pre-on-post tour packages.

MATTA immediate past president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat found the participation of Indonesia timely, with the opening of new direct routes from northern Malaysia.

"Malindo started Penang — Banda Aceh (three times a week) and Ipoh — Medan (four times a week) services on March 15, while Citilink introduced new daily flights from Jakarta — Penang from March 25.

"This will allow Malaysians from die northern region easier direct travel to Indonesian destinations, as opposed to having to transit in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore," he said.

Hamzah added that the beauty of Indonesia lies in every region having distinct attractions, culture and practices, as well as food.

"There are always new things to discover, and I expect the number of Malaysians visiting Indonesia to keep growing.

"Travelling has become part of modern life. Holidays have become a must as people seek an escape from the everyday stresses.Its a trend that's happening globally," he said.

For more details, visit wvvw.indonesia. travel. The MA'ITA Fair will be open from 10am to 9pm daily. Admission is free.