As the largest archipelago in the world, the endless splendors of Indonesia also lie in her vast stretching waters, making it a perfect destination for yachts and cruise trips. Aimed to attract more international yachts and cruise ships to sail to and in Indonesian waters, the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia will hold the Wonderful Indonesia Cruise Sales Mission in Sydney, Australia on 12th August 2016 at the Hilton Hotel, 488 George St. The event will again confirm Indonesia’s commitment to maintain the Australian tourism market while developing niche market sectors including cruises and yachts.
Committed to make it easier for yachters and cruise ships to enter her waters, the Indonesian government has implemented a number of policies that simplify procedures. These include the waiver of cabotage so that cruise ships are able to embark and disembark passengers at the appointed ports of Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tanjung Benoa in Bali, Belawan in Medan, and Makassar. The government has also eased the CIQP (customs, immigration, quarantine, and port authorities) procedures, simplified the sailing permit application from one month to just one day and plans to build new marinas at Saumlaki, Ambon, Kupang, Tarakan, Labuan Bajo, Tanjung Pandan, and Belitung.
For cruise and yacht operators, Indonesia offers many advantages. Firstly, the weather enables tours to be offered all year round as there is no winter and the possibility of storms is very low. Secondly, while the Caribbean and Mediterranean are already highly popular among yachters and cruise enthusiasts, Indonesia offers pristine natural beauty and cultural richness unlike anywhere else in the world. Third, for Australians and other nationalities who are given the short stay free visa, they can fly to Indonesia and take a local charter vessel since the free visa lasts up to 30 days.
Cruise traffic in Indonesia has recorded 360 calls and 266,000 passengers in 2016. The number is expected to grow as new destinations open up and legislation is eased. Much of this is expedition vessels, boutique vessels and vessels of limited capacity (up to 1,500 passengers). In general Australia is still the main market for Indonesia’s tourism industry. In the last two years, the number of Australian visitors to Indonesia was above 1 million along with visitors from Malaysia, China and Singapore.
According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, cruising has grown at close to 20% per annum for the last decade out of Australia with Asia leading the way in 2015 with growth of 71.5%. In 2015 1,058,000 Australians took a cruise some and some 23 million took a cruise globally. Australia represents 4.6% of the global market and has the largest market penetration in the world as a source market.
For Australians and most of the international tourists, the enchanting island of Bali is still considered as the number 1 destination in Indonesian Archipelago. However, in years to come the island is projected not only as a prime destination but also the main hub for other destinations. Confirming the vision, indonesia's Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya stated: “We want to promote Bali and Beyond so that destinations close to Bali can also develop. After enjoying Bali visitors can continue on to other destinations such as Banyuwangi, Lombok, Wakatobi, Labuan Bajo and Mount Bromo”.