Monday, June 30, 2014

Jakarta Tradition and Culture

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours , Threaded like beads across the equator, the islands of the Indonesian archipelago has clear blue seas lap primeval beaches, calm breezes that has scents of spices and flowers, and divers are entranced by the ocean’s riches. Inside the country, dramatic volcanic ranges tower above a green mantle of terraced hillsides and lush rainforest.

The national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, is an old Javanese expression typically interpreted as "unity in diversity." The nation's official philosophy, first expressed by President Sukarno in 1945, is the Pancasila, or Five Principles: belief in one supreme God; just and civilized humanitarianism; Indonesian unity; popular sovereignty governed by wise policies arrived at through deliberation and representation; and social justice for all Indonesian people. Indonesia was described from the start as the successor of the Netherlands East Indies.

Ever since 1950 the national anthem and other songs have been sung by children all over the country to start the school day; by civil servants at flag-raising ceremonies; over the radio to begin and end broadcasting; in cinemas and on television; and at national day celebrations. Radio and television, government owned and controlled for much of the second half of the twentieth century, produced nationalizing programs as diverse as Indonesian language lessons, regional and ethnic dances and songs, and plays on national themes. Officially recognized "national heroes" from diverse regions are honored in school texts and biographies and with statues for their struggles against the Dutch; some regions monumentalize local heroes of their own.

The official language of Indonesia is known as Indonesian or 'Bahasa Indonesian'. Indonesian is a standardized dialect of the Malay language and was formulated at the time of the declaration of Indonesian independence in 1945. Malay and Indonesian remain very similar.

Even though the official language, in truth it is most of the population's second language. Because of the complete size and fractured, island make-up of the country most people speak regional dialects like Minangkabau or Javanese. These will typically be spoken at home and in the local community but at work or at school Indonesian is used.

Jakarta Tradition and Culture

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jakarta Holiday Packages

Jakarta’s tourist sector finding it hard to market holiday packages: Does this still hold as true now that we reached mid-year?

Tourism industry operators say they are facing difficulty in marketing Jakarta tourism packages, Indonesian news agency ANTARA reported. While new research made by Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore have gotton them to an otherwise results.

A new report by the Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore says Indonesia and other emerging markets of it different cities such as Jakarta and Bali are the main forces that will drive the travel industry, which is expected to grow at a faster rate than the global economy over the next decade.

“Frankly speaking, we get confused and stressed trying to sell Jakarta tourism packages this year,” Rudiana, chairman of the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) for Jakarta Chapter.

Rudiana said despite having relatively good facilities in Jakarta, traffic woes and floods in the city have constrained efforts to promote tour packages. There are also warnings of some scams that rule the city.

Five tourist buses due to begin operations in February are expected to be unable to run due to heavy traffic congestions.

“The breakthrough in procuring five tourist buses for operating in February was good, but in such traffic conditions, they cannot be operated maximally,” Rudiana said.

Rudiana, who is also Wita Tour sales marketing director, said Jakarta has great potential to be developed as a Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) destination.

“Yet, infrastructure and facilities continue to remain the main factors that will play an important role in Jakarta’s tourism development,” he said.

“Existing facilities in Jakarta can be utilised fully only when other supporting facilities are functioning well,” he added.

Rudiana called on all relevant parties especially the government to draw up strategic plans to deal with the issue. — Bernama.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Jakarta The Centre of Islamic Tourism This June 2 and 3

With 90% of more than 200 million of the population of Jakarta, Indonesia, it is considered as the biggest Muslim nation. The city, along with the whole country, welcomes the first international forum of Islamic Tourism of the Organization of the Islmaic Cooperation (OIC) this June 2 and 3, 2014. "This is concrete action from the tourism ministers of OIC members meeting in Banjul, Gambia, on Dec. 6, 2013, as we want to further develop sharia tourism in OIC countries," Tourism and Creative Economy Deputy Minister Sapta Nirwandar said in Jakarta on Monday as quoted by Antara news agency.

By the end of 2030, Sapta said sharia tourism was projected to continue to grow as Muslim populations were predicted to reach 2.2 billion - equal to 26.4 percent of the global population.

Sharia tourism –also named sometimes “halal tourism” include specific facilities and services. For example, hotels following sharia rules do not serve alcohol and have separate swimming pools and spa facilities for men and women. Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey for example are now trying to attract Muslim tourists from all over the world by offering such facilities. Other countries such as Singapore, Thailand but also Hong Kong, Japan and Australia are looking at attracting more Muslim travellers thanks to sharia related tourism programs. 

The Muslim population stood at 1.6 billion of a global population of 6.9 billion in 2012. "Through this forum, we want to strengthen sharia tourism’s position as one of keys to help support the global economy. We also want to promote sharia tourism destinations and products such as hotels, restaurants and spas," he said.

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore credits the research done by  Thomson Reuters, according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2012 research, Muslims spent US$1.088 billion on halal food, equal to 16.6 percent of worldwide food spending. The figure is projected to increase to $1.626 billion in 2018.

Meanwhile, in the tour and travel sector, Muslims around the world spent $137 billion on travel, excluding haj and minor haj, throughout 2012, or 12.5 percent of travel spending across the globe. This figure is a warning that it may rise to $181 billion by the end of 2018. 

Director General of Multilateral Affairs at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hasan Kleib, fully supported the forum and stated that the forum will be able to promote global Shariah tourism.

A historical move was taken in 2012 by the government when the Ministry of Tourism and creative economy signed a Memorandum of understanding with Indonesia's Ulema Council on a program that is steered towards making sharia tourism a success. The Ministry estimates that some 20% of travellers coming from Muslim countries would be interested to follow sharia rules when taking a vacation in Indonesia. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jakarta Indonesia’s Marketing and Promotion

Hermawan Kartajaya, a marketing expert and a member of Indonesia’s Tourism Promotion Agency (BPPI) said the Indonesian government has done its best to develop tourist sectors. However, coordination between the central government and provincial and district heads remain flawed. This research is supported by Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore.

“Creating a smooth cooperation with local governments is not an easy task. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is doing its very best to ensure coordination,” he said.

Hermawan added that brand management, including advertising, falls under the responsibility of the tourism ministry, while customer and product management are the tasks of the local governments.

This should come as a warning. He explained the workings of two different types of tourism with different effects on the economic cycle. 

“When it comes to tourism, we have to remember that there are two groups: the international tourist who feeds foreign exchange and the domestic tourism who encourages economic activities. Domestic tourism is quite healthy in Indonesia. But, our capacity in managing international tourist arrivals is still low,” he said.

Hermawan emphasized on the proper management of Indonesia’s tourism sector as a way to boost travel to the archipelago’s array of destinations.

“The most important aspect of management lies in the acceptance of foreign investors. However, are we ready for that?” he questioned.

“The thing is, this country does not consider tourism as its main priority. Furthermore, the quality of human resources and infrastructure still need to be widely developed.
“Local government also need to change their priority and pay more attention to local tourist destinations.”

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sapta Nirwandar remains optimistic about achieving 9.2 million target of international visitors.

“However, we know this would require a precise process and we have worked on the necessary preparations,” Sapta said.

The deputy explained the ministry will focus on two sectors.

“We will further expand our marketing efforts by increasing the promotion of various Indonesian destinations both offline and online,” he said.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Indonesia to Power Growth in World Tourism

A new report by the Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore says Indonesia and other developing markets of its different cities such as Jakarta and Bali are the chief forces that will drive the travel industry, which is anticipated to raise at a faster rate than the global economy over the next decade,

Indonesia will be the driving force behind a decade of growth in the global travel industry, according to a new report.

The report, conducted for the travel agency Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore, found that the travel industry will grow at a faster rate than the global economy over the next 5 years, in large part thanks to China and other major emerging countries such as India, Russia and Brazil.

“The travel industry is composed for a period of continued growth over the next decade, driven in part by Indonesia’s share of global outbound travel reaching as much as 20% by 2023,” Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore said in a statement.

The rapidly growing middle class in Indonesia will make the country overtake other country as the world’s biggest outbound-travel market this year and the largest domestic travel market in 2017, the report said. The report proposes the global travel industry is finally emerging from the financial crisis, which took a heavy toll on the industry.

“Forecasts predict a new golden era for travel, which will be welcome news for many segments of the industry that are only just beginning to emerge from recession” Heather Grant, Westhill’s senior vice president, said in a statement.

Business travel is also booming in other part in Southeast Asia, and according to the report, Southeast Asia will account for just over half of the growth in global business travels in the next 10 years, while they gave a warning that the West will not reach the level of short-haul business travel it had prior to the financial crisis in 2008 until after 2018.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Gay Destinations Outside SE Asia

Westhill Consulting Travel and Tours, Singapore sure know how to define fun. SE Asian cities such as KL Malaysia, Bangkok Thailand, Jakarta Indonesia, Singapore and many more are not the only cities our gay friends can enjoy travelling.

The Florida Panhandle
One major gay destination is South Beach, L.G.B.T. travelers have for countless years gathered there and, just lately, to Fort Lauderdale as too. “One might not instantly think of Florida’s Panhandle as gay-welcoming due to its conservative nature, but it has long been a refuge for gay Southerners looking for a beach getaway,” Desiree Sousa, the owner and editor in chief of Gay Travel Information, wrote in an email. Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola are among the places Ms. Sousa sees as up-and-coming gay-friendly destinations, “especially for L.G.B.T. families with children,” she wrote. “There isn’t a plethora of gay nightclubs (Pensacola is home to the only gay nightclubs in the area, which include the popular Emerald City),” Ms. Sousa wrote, but the area is notable “because of its overall welcoming attitude toward the L.G.B.T. traveler, something I have experienced time and time again.” Ms. Sousa said she has stayed in a number of area resorts, including the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, and always felt welcome and safe when traveling with her wife.

Harlem, New York
The first places that will come to your mind when you think of especially L.G.B.T-friendly neighborhoods in New York, Greenwich Village, Chelsea and, more recently, Hell’s Kitchen or Clinton. Warning, these places are very gay!!! According to Alan H. Beck, the president and publisher of Columbia FunMap and, add to the list Harlem, which is bit by bit regaining the reputation that it had for being a gay haven during its renaissance nearly a century ago. Mr. Beck wrote in an email, “FunMaps,” which creates gay-centric maps of various destinations, is planning a Harlem map to come out this summer. Harlem has even had its own gay pride celebration, though New York City already has a big annual event since 2010.

“I understand Pittsburgh probably conjures up images of steel mills, football and heart attack-inducing sandwiches,” wrote Jim Werner, a co-founder of a travel website that offers information about a number of gay-friendly cities as well as reviews, event listings and special deals. But, he pointed out, Pittsburgh is, in fact, “quirky, progressive, and yes, remarkably gay-friendly.” It’s also the hometown of Andy Warhol, a gay icon, and home to the Andy Warhol Museum. And, as of this month when a judge struck down the state’s gay-marriage ban, Pennsylvania is the last state in the Northeast to allow same-sex marriage. Pittsburgh will celebrate its PrideFest on June 15 (the event drew about 75,000 people last year, Mr. Werner wrote). The city doesn’t feature a large, centralized gay area, but the overall vibe is welcoming, he said. Still, Mr. Werner added, “if you want to increase your chances of finding fellow gays, head downtown to Liberty Avenue or to the Shadyside or Lawrenceville neighborhoods. Most of the bars in those neighborhoods are within walking distance of each other.”