Indonesia wants to woo Chinese-Muslim tourists

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Tourists snap photos in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. Source: Kadek Bonit Permadi/Shutterstock

INDONESIA is on a drive to lure Chinese-Muslim tourists from three major cities – Xi’an, Yinchuan and Beijing – to promote the country as a halal destination in the region.

While China’s Muslim population is less than two percent of the total population, Indonesia wants to reach its target of 20 million international tourists and five million Muslim tourists by 2020.

Riyanto Sofyan, chairman of the Halal Tourism Acceleration and Development Team of Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism, said: “Our sales mission is a key element of our ongoing drive to increase our appeal to Muslim tourists across the world and become the destination of choice.

“China is a key market for us especially as we (share) a long-standing relationship, economic partnerships and close proximity. Our aim is to attract a greater share of the Chinese tourists who travel to destinations in our region each year.”

SEE ALSO: Indonesia has ambitious plans to be world’s leading halal destination

Indonesia is a key halal destination in the region and plans are underway to develop several areas as emerging halal destinations, including Banda Aceh, Aceh Besar, Sabang, and Lake Laut Tawar.

This year, Indonesia has ambitious plans to pull in 3.1 million Muslim tourists with hopes to overtake Malaysia by year-end, and Thailand by 2019.

In general, Indonesia pulled in over two million Chinese tourists, and South China Morning Post reported that Indonesia’s tourism ministry is offering incentives to national airlines to expand their services beyond China’s biggest cities to places such as Xi’an, Kunming, and Guilin.

Indonesia currently rivals Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam in terms of Chinese tourism dollars.