This year at the prestigious ITB 2017 World Travel Show, Indonesia was again crowned with the Best Exhibitor Award for Asia, Australia and Oceania. This is the second consecutive year that the Indonesian pavilion has won the award, successfully outranking other popular tourist destination countries in the region including South Korea, Thailand. Maldives, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Malaysia.
ITB (the InternationaleTourismus-Börse) held every year in Berlin, Germany, is the travel industry’s most trusted travel show in the world, where almost all countries are represented, which this year was held from 8th to 12 March 2017.
Indonesia came with a delegation of 124 participants representing a number of destinations, tour operators, hotels and resorts to work the B2B sessions. This number increased from 100 last year.
The Indonesia pavilion elegantly portrayed the vast archipelago with focus on the Phinisi schooner of the Bugis ethnic group in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, being the icon of the country’s seafaring tradition. Moreover, the concept of the Phinisi sailing ship also refers to the direction taken by Indonesia’s tourism development which currently focuses on marine tourism. This is reflected in the development and promotion of some of the archipelago’s most fascinating marine destinations that include the Thousand Islands in Jakarta, Mandalika in Lombok, Labuan Bajo and Komodo Islands in East Nusa Tenggara, Wakatobi Marine Park in South East Sulawesi, and Morotai Islands in North Maluku.
Here, in the freezing weather of Berlin, one could almost imagine oneself being transported to the sunny beaches of Indonesia, sitting leisurely under a coconut tree since sacks of soft pearly white beach sands, fresh green coconuts, coconut leaves and many other materials were specially flown over from Indonesia to recreate the perfect relaxing setting that are Indonesia’s enchanting beaches.
Moreover, another important aspect considered in the construction of the Indonesia Pavilion was its completely environmentally friendly materials used, since most decorations were made from recycled goods. Here were wooden chairs and tables made from used woods which were re-pressed and shaped into various materials. Therefore, no solid wood here, which came from the logging industry, that was used in the Indonesia pavilion. Meanwhile, a series of spellbinding art and cultural performances drew crowds of visitors to the pavilion.
Another special feature of the Indonesian pavilion was the coffee corner which sent out aromatic whiffs of Indonesian coffee which could be smelled from as far as 10 meters away. Every day during the event, hundreds and even thousands of cups of various Indonesian coffees were served to quench the thirst of ITB’s visitors and keep them warm with distinct Indonesian flavors.
Meanwhile, the spa corner also successfully relaxed hundreds of visitors who also enjoyed the beach ambience complete with swaying palm trees and a swing replicating that at Gili Trawangan, in Lombok.
The presence of Indonesia was not only felt at the pavilion but also throughout the city of Berlin. During the ITB Berlin 2017, Berlin’s city buses were wrapped in the many Wonders of the Indonesian Archipelago. Cruising the streets of Berlin, these buses proudly showcased Indonesia’s major attractions, such as Lake Toba, Borobudur Temple, as well as the magnificent sceneries of Bali.
Expressing his pride for this achievement, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, who himself stood in the Pavilion, stated: “We are very proud of this achievement. ITB Berlin is the world’s biggest tourism exhibition which was participated by no less than 187 countries, 10,000 exhibitors, and drew about 180,000 visitors. All tourism industries, travel operators, airlines, cruises, hotels, government bodies, destination managements, and associations gathered at the event. And Wonderful Indonesia has shown its prestigious class on the international tourism scene”. Furthermore, the minister commented, that victory is the result of excellent planning and great implementation. “We have prepared this with excellence, from its design to the detailed construction and decorations. Victory is the result of good planning!” underscored Minister Arief Yahya.
With the award won in two consecutive years, Minister Arief Yahya, has now raised the bar for next year, when Indonesia aims to gain the title of Best of the Best in ITB Berlin. “Next year, we have set the target to win the title of Best of the Best, to be Champion of all 5 continents” said Arief Yahya.