JAKARTA, Indonesia – Tourism business owners and Betawi art performers are heading to Taipei in a bid to get more tourists from Taiwan.

Agency head Arie Budiman said on Tuesday that the road show hopefully would boost the number of Taiwanese tourists and businessmen to visit Jakarta that had been increasing for the past few years.

Arie said the number of Taiwanese tourists was smaller than the ones from other countries like Malaysia and China.

“However, Taiwanese are our potential market because their interest meet with our tourism products like meeting, incentives convention, exhibition [MICE] events and leisure activities,” he said in a press release.

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded that around 4,000 to 6,000 Taiwanese visited Jakarta every month for business, vacations, to family gatherings.

With the number, Taiwan is included among the top ten countries along with Malaysia, China, Singapore, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, South Korea and the United States whose citizens visited the city the most.

Arie said the agency also chose Taiwan as a promotion target because many flights serving the
Jakarta-Taipei route were available.

“Jakarta is ready to serve Taiwanese tourists with its international-standard facilities. We hope the number of Taiwanese tourists will increase by 10 percent this year,” he said.

Before Taiwan, the agency has done the same program, titled Enjoy Jakarta, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and three cities in China.

“The road shows aim also to convince foreign tourists that Jakarta is safe to be visited both for business and leisure,” Arie said.

Jakarta Tourism Agency’s promotion department head Cucu Ahmad Kurnia said the expenses for Taipei road show would cost his office Rp 6 billion (US$582,000) which would be taken from the city budget.

“We get Rp 60 billion in budget this year for promoting Jakarta tourism,” he said.

Cucu said the agency planned to continue the promotional program next year as the number of foreign tourists was increasing since the program first conducted in 2012.

BPS recorded that the number of foreign tourists visiting Jakarta increased by 5.7 percent from 2,003 million people in 2011 to 2,119 people in 2012.

“The tourism sector contributed Rp s2.6 trillion in last year’s income. We hope the number will be bigger this year,” he said.

Jakarta has at least 1,257 entertainment and recreational hubs and 86 malls and shopping centers.

The city is also planning to renovate heritage Kota Tua in West Jakarta and Betawi cultural centers like the one in Setu Babakan in South Jakarta.

Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo recently also issued a gubernatorial decree that obliged malls, hotels and recreational places to give space for Betawi culture-based products to be introduced and sold.