BALI - The Best Island Tourist Destination and Best Overseas Tourism City for 2014 awards were bestowed upon the island as part of an annual event organised by Chinese online travel agency Ctrip.
"We hope these awards will encourage more foreign tourists, especially from China, to visit Indonesia this year and in the years to come," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said as quoted from the press release sent by the Tourism Ministry.
The award was given in Lijiang, Yunnan, on Jan. 10 and was attended by representatives from the Chinese government, tourism businesses and the media. Ctrip is a big player in the country's online tourism market, controlling 55.9 per cent of it.
Arief stated his focus on the digital promotion of Indonesia's tourism. Various online activation methods, such as mobile applications, digital campaigns, interactive campaigns and viral marketing through social media will be the main concern as digital promotion has a stronger impact and a wider promotion range with relatively less budget.
"It turns out that 70 per cent of tourists from China get information about Indonesia from the Internet. This is our new challenge, to intensify tourism promotion via digital media," Arief added.
China is one of the main targets of Indonesia's tourism, along with other countries including Australia, Japan, South Korea and Russia.
From January to November 2014, 883,725 foreign tourists from China to Indonesia were recorded, the fourth largest visitor contingent after Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
The ministry recorded that tourists from China usually visited Indonesia for four to five days and spent from US$100 (S$133) to $110 per day.
Aside from promotion and marketing, Arief also noted accessibility, especially regarding the availability of direct flights from China's big cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Hangzhou and Nanjing, to Indonesia.
The Indonesian government and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) plan to increase the number of visitors between the two countries to 2 million tourists by the end of 2015.