Indonesia eyes 1.5m Malaysian tourists by year end via AirAsia deal

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 1): The Ministry of Tourism Infrastructure Indonesia is eyeing to welcome 1.5 million tourists from Malaysia through its marketing partnership with low cost carrier AirAsia by the end of this year. 

According to professional staff to the Minister of Tourism Infrastructure Judi Rifajantoro, the collaboration was initiated to drive tourism efforts in promoting Indonesia to Malaysians through the vast connectivity the airline offers across 15 destinations in Indonesia.

“Under the joint promotion for the media campaign we have announced today, we hope AirAsia will cater [to] more travellers to Indonesia and more people; especially Malaysians can experience Indonesia, thanks to AirAsia’s numerous routes,“ Judi told reporters at a media briefing here today. 

According to Judi, the Ministry of Tourism Infrastructure Indonesia sees klia2, which was previously called low cost carriage terminal (LCCT), as a hub for travellers in Southeast Asia, mainly contributed by AirAsia — an opportunity the Indonesian ministry can leverage in order to bring in more traffic via better connectivity to Indonesia.   

CEO of AirAsia Berhad, Aireen Omar, who was also present at the launching, noted the carrier is not only looking for increased revenue through this collaboration, but also to contribute in the social cohesion between the two countries. 

“Revenue contribution will go beyond just ticket sales. From the tourists coming in and spending their money, we can usually see a 12 times multiplier that will definitely contribute to the economy of both countries,” Aireen said, noting there will be increased efforts for marketing in traditional media, as well as social media. 

Referring to the target of 1.5 million Malaysian tourists into Indonesia, Aireen mentioned the company can “easily beat that”. In 2016, AirAsia had carried four million passengers between Indonesia and Malaysia, comprising varying nationalities. 

When asked about investments involved in the collaboration, Aireen said it is a combination having equal contribution and strong commitments from both sides. 

In conjunction with the collaboration, AirAsia has increased flight frequency between Kuala Lumpur and Bali to 56 times a week.

Currently, AirAsia connects Malaysia with Indonesia through more than 350 times weekly flights to 15 different cities such as Banda Aceh, Bali, Jakarta, Lombok, Medan, Pekanbaru, Palembang, Padang, Pontianak, Semarang, Solo, Surabaya, Makassar and Yogyakarta.

The airline has also flights connecting to Indonesia from Kuching, Penang, and Johor.