Indonesia invited to promote tourism at French university

The Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer (VITO) in France was specially invited by the University of Angers to give a presentation on the Wonderful Indonesia tourism brand at the Tourism International Festival from June 15 to 17.

“We feel honored; usually we have to pay to conduct a presentation at an international tourism marketing event, but this time we were actually invited to the event. The French people are interested in getting to know Indonesia,” said the Tourism Ministry’s deputy for overseas promotion, I Gde Pitana.

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Held for the first time by the university, Indonesia was invited as a guest country to participate in the festival.

Some of the activities during the festival included a discussion forum with Indonesian university lecturers, traditional dance and gamelan performances as well as an art market.

“A conference about Indonesia was also held for three days in Angers city,” Pitana added.

VITO’s country manager for France, Eka Moncarre, said university students in France loved to explore and travel the world. Although they don’t usually have a lot of money, they can be found working and save money for traveling, she said, adding that the students usually travel for two months, visiting undeveloped and adventurous destinations across the globe.

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“These students are the biggest potential market for homestay projects in Indonesia because they prefer homestays over hotels,” said Moncarre.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said France was among the top three European tourist markets, right after England, “Sixty percent of French people who travel to Indonesia are from the outskirts of France,” said Arief.

The number of French tourists coming to Indonesia increased by 20 percent last year, reaching 250, 921 visitors. This year, the ministry is targeting to attract at least 330,000 tourists from France. (kes)