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ITB Asia News 2019 Day 1 Edition

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  • Tourism
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  • October
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12 TRADE TALK Muslim

12 TRADE TALK Muslim travel Tapping into the diversity of the Halal market Nabeel Shariff is the founder of Rihaala.com and Serendipity Tailormade, a team of halal-friendly travel experts who are selling packages and tailor-made travel to Muslim travellers. Shariff is a speaker during ITB Asia’s Muslim Travel Conference for a session entitled “Seven ways to make Muslim travellers love your destination”. He tells ITB Asia how halal-friendly travel is providing a flexible answer to Muslim travellers’ wishes. It is important to note that like non- Muslim travellers, not all Muslim travellers are seeking the same type of holiday and what they demand in terms of their faith-based needs will also vary. However, what all Muslim travellers do generally desire is a travel experience; and what they value mirrors general global travellers’ trends – from authenticity and adventure to local cultural experiences and responsible/ethical tourism. Some Muslim travellers seek strict alcohol-free resorts, female-only HOTELIERS’, DESTINATIONS’ AND ATTRACTIONS’ GROWING ATTENTION TO MUSLIM TRAVELLERS HAS MEANT MORE AND MORE SERVICES. swimming pools and a selection of itineraries with break times for the five daily prayers. But that’s not for everyone. There is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to halal travel. In the coming years, services from accommodation to attractions will have to evolve to accommodate a common ground that is acceptable to the majority of Muslim travellers to ensure they can reap the benefits. What does Halal travel entail? Halal travel is a term commonly u s e d f o r M u s l i m - f r i e n d l y travel. Contrary to common perceptions it does not refer to travel for religious or pilgrimage purposes, but rather trips that take Muslim faith-based needs into consideration. These include halal-friendly dining experiences, the provision of prayer mats/ facilities, privacy enhancements, family-friendly surroundings and alcohol-free options. From our own study from April 2018, 97% of Muslim travellers stated that privacy of accommodation is a “must have” or “nice to have” and that 73% of Muslim travellers want to experience new cultures, but at the same time be able to meet their prayer requirements during their trip. Do you believe travel advisors have a clear vision of the market? If not, what do you think are their key misconceptions? I believe there have been some incredible strides for Muslim friendly travel, considering 10 years ago there was no formal structure in place. When it comes to faith, there have been challenges and perceptions to overcome. Hoteliers’, destinations’ and attractions’ growing attention to Muslim travellers has meant more and more services. Tell us about your company and how you facilitate Halal travel. O v e r t h e p a s t n i n e y e a r s , Serendipity Tailormade has bridged the gap between Muslim travellers and major destinations around the world, creating experiences that meet Muslim travellers’ aspirations and faith-based needs. The 2019 Nabeel Shariff Founder, Rihaala.com and Serendipity Tailormade launch of Rihaala.com, our first online booking platform dedicated to Muslim travellers, is now helping them to curate and book their own personalised journey. As a company that seeks to be a pioneer in the halal travel space, launching Rihaala was the next logical step in our growth story. Travel technology has moved on and so have Muslim travellers and we are listening to our customers about how they want to book and experience travel now and in the future. How important is ITB Asia as a platform to discuss issues like this? A valued platform such as ITB Asia profiles the rise in Muslim friendly travel and shows how far this sector of the market will play in the future, especially from the Asia continent. Muslim travellers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and not forgetting The Philippines and Thailand provide the region and beyond with a wealth of opportunities to diversify their audience from the more traditional markets. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have already seen the positivity of providing Muslimfriendly services and as more destinations follow suit, Muslim travellers will duly reciprocate by exploring and visiting ITB ASIA NEWS • Wednesday 16 October 2019 www.itb-asia-news.com

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW 13 PARTICULARLY IN ASEAN COUNTRIES, WE ARE TARGETING MILLENNIALS WITH THE GO DIGITAL PROGRAMME Rizki Handayani Deputy Minister for Marketing Development for ASEAN markets, Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia Spotlight on accessibility, infrastructure and new attractions Indonesia concentrates its development efforts on five Super Priority Destinations In the last five years, Indonesia has been heavily promoting itself to entice more tourists to visit the world’s largest archipelago. ITB Asia asked Rizki Handayani, Deputy Minister for Marketing Development for ASEAN markets at Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism to tell us about Indonesia’s tourism achievements, particularly following the creation of 5 “new Bali” destinations. As stated by President Joko Widodo, the new 5 Super Priority Destinations are a further development of an earlier programme of 10 Priority Destinations. The five destinations are Lake Toba (North Sumatra), Borobudur temple and surroundings (Central Java), Labuan Bajo (Flores), Mandalika (Lombok) and Likupang (North Sulawesi). The Ministry of Tourism works with partners for the development of infrastructures, accessibility as well as the promotion of these five super priority destinations. All works should be completed by 2020. What kind of projects are being developed? We are witnessing a significant d e v e l o p m e n t i n r e g a r d t o accessibility, infrastructure and new attractions. We are constructing the new Yogyakarta International Airport and expanding the runway at Komodo Airport. On the other hand, the government is planning to build a luxury yacht marina in Likupang integrating parking facilities, as well as retail, and food and beverage outlets. In Mandalika, the construction of a MotoGP Circuit started in September for an estimated completion in 2020. What are the key objectives for the coming year in terms of incoming tourist figures? The Indonesian government has set the target of 18.5 million foreign tourists arrivals and will focus at increasing tourists spending as well as the length of stay for the upcoming year. What are the main axes of your promotion? We are launching new strategies to develop tourism in Indonesia. Our strategic theme “Wonderful Indonesia Digital Tourism 4.0”, is a plan to improve our human resources in order to win the global competition among tourist destinations but also develop technological enablers. O n t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h e implementation of a tourism HR transformation programme can be carried out on the five “pentahelix” elements (academics, industry, government, community, and media) towards a world-class tourism industry. To lead in this global market and particularly in ASEAN countries, we are targeting millennials with The Go Digital programme. Digital Tourism 4.0 is focusing on millennials which currently represent 50% of total tourists inbound to Indonesia. This advertising programme will also be present on popular platforms such as Google, Facebook and Instagram. We also cooperate with Visa for our branding, while Booking.com is our selling partner for packages that potential visitors can directly purchase on our website Indonesia.Travel. How are your source markets evolving? Last year, despite a decrease in tourism growth rates, we still managed to achieve a positive growth of 12.58% that placed Indonesia at the second position in the region, after Vietnam. International arrivals grew from an average of 9% in 2009-13 to 14% in 2014-18. This growth contributed to the increase of our foreign exchange earnings to almost USbn last year. These figures support our expectations to see tourism as a strong contributor to our economic development in the years to come. What do you do to inform travel professionals around the world about your new products? The Ministry of Tourism invites travel professionals to participate in our tourism exhibitions and travel fairs to promote our “5 new Balis”. We also organise familiarisation trips to let them experience our destinations in real life. Finally, we update our online presentation of destinations and products at www. indonesia.travel. Why is ITB Asia important? ITB Asia is a strategic event to promote Indonesia’s tourism products to the Asia-Pacific market. Through our participation, we hope to reach buyers from the MICE, leisure and corporate travel markets and expand our networking with leading travel companies ITB ASIA NEWS • Wednesday 16 October 2019