Indonesian envoy highlights tourism opportunities at Hospitality Qatar 2023
November 08, 2023 | 11:31 PM
Hospitality Qatar 2023, which concluded Wednesday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, provided an opportunity to showcase Indonesia’s diverse range of hospitality products and introduced the concept of the ‘10 New Bali Destinations’, ambassador Ridwan Hassan said.Citing its consistent presence at the event over several years, the envoy told Gulf Times that Indonesia’s participation sheds light on the many offerings and opportunities for bilateral co-operation between Qatar and Indonesia, particularly in the tourism sector."As a tourism destination, Indonesia has a lot to offer. The most famous destination is certainly Bali Island, but you know that Bali is already self-promoted and we are more than happy to provide anything. Then we also have other destinations, we call it the New 10 Bali Destinations," he said.Hassan noted that hospitality covers not only tourism but also other related sectors, underlining Indonesia's vast potential as a tourism destination.He said the '10 New Bali Destinations' is a strategic initiative aimed at developing other regions and islands, with some destinations already in the advanced stages of preparation.According to the envoy, Indonesia’s unique geographical makeup, consisting of numerous islands and regions, has prompted the nation to look beyond Bali to expand the tourism industry.Among the notable destinations included in Indonesia's ambitious '10 New Balis' project are Borobudur Temple, Belitung, Mount Bromo, Labuan Bajo, Lake Toba, Thousand Islands, Mandalika, Wakatobi, Tanjung Lesung, and Morotai. Each of these destinations offers unique features and scenic beauty that even Bali cannot replicate.Hassan highlighted the diverse aspects of tourism, stressing that it involves more than just inviting people to visit Indonesia but also fostering investments in the tourism sector.He urged Qatar to explore opportunities in Indonesia’s tourism industry, pointing out the notable enhancement in accessibility, with Qatar Airways now providing six daily flights to the country.Hassan estimated that approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Qataris visit Indonesia annually. While Qatari visitor numbers may not be large, he said the resident population in Qatar represents a substantial market segment.About ease of entry for other nationalities, he said that Indonesia regularly reviews its policies. He hinted at potential adjustments to accommodate the growing number of visitors, especially in light of the increased accessibility provided by Qatar Airways. He mentioned plans to add more countries to the list of those eligible for visa-free entry or visas on arrival.The envoy said the ‘Growing Kopi, Drinking Qahwa; Stories of Coffee in Qatar and Indonesia’ exhibition at the National Museum of Qatar has been receiving positive responses from the public. The show, on view until February 17, 2024, explores the cultural significance of coffee. The envoy stressed that coffee is a commodity and a vital aspect of culture.Hassan underlined the strong relationship between Qatar and Indonesia, supported by a history of bilateral co-operation. He lauded the contributions of the Indonesian community in Qatar, who not only work but also actively engage in the cultural life of the country.He highlighted the significance of the Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture in 2023, viewing it as a milestone in the partnership and expressing a commitment to sustaining and strengthening cultural ties in the future.