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BBTF 2019, 6th Edition continued to build a big marketplace in Bali

Samer Abu Wandi, MICE Middle East.
Bali and Beyond Travel Fair (BBTF) 2019 and increase participation from tourism neighbours in Asia resulted in Singapore and Timor Leste joining 230 exhibitors for the event, which officially opened Wednesday 25 June in Nusa Dua, Bali. welcomed a 303 buyers from 46 countries, an increase over 2018. Sellers on the floor reported strong product interest on the first day from quality buyers, including 21 from Australia.
The theme of BBTF this year was Journey to Sustainable Tourism, that moves to promote 10 new designated tourism destinations of Indonesia that either use Bali as a hub or plan to develop new direct air and sea services over time.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said at the welcome dinner and the opening ceremony of BBTF at Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park, Bali on June 25, that we may consider the event as the leading tourism exhibition in Indonesia.
Arief expressed appreciation to the organizing committee’s dedication for the past six years, saying that the BBTF could be on par with a number of major international travel fairs.
"Hopefully in the future, BBTF will evolve as one of the major international tourist exhibitions in the region, holding similar status like the MATTA Fair in Malaysia and ITB Asia in Singapore, or even the largest travel exhibitions in the world like ITB Berlin and WTM London," Arief emphasized.
The name of BBTF, Arief added, implies that Bali is not the only one promoted as a world-class tourist destination. In fact, it promotes other destinations in Indonesia.
"Eventually, tourists will enjoy more diverse attractions and the economic benefits of tourism will be distributed among the regions beyond Bali," he said.
As a tourist destination, Bali has contributed to at least 40 percent of Indonesia’s tourism revenue target.
Tourism has also become the biggest contributor to Bali's economy. The number of international tourist arrivals to Bali in 2018 was recorded at 6 million, indicating a 6.7 percent increase compared to previous years.
Meanwhile, domestic tourist arrivals reached 9.8 million people, increasing 11.7 percent compared to 2017.
Initiated and organized by the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Bali chapter, the event is also supported by the Tourism Ministry. The event brings sellers and buyers together in a single forum annually.
I Ketut Ardana, the chairman of ASITA Bali who is also the chairman of the BBTF, said participants of BBTF 2019 came from various countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, including India, Australia and New Zealand.
"BBTF 2019 will also host speakers who address the opportunities, trends and industry insights as well as highlight the diversity of Indonesia’s cultural heritage," Ardana said.
BBTF 2019 is targeting Rp 9.06 trillion (US$636 million) in transactions, a significant increase from Rp 4.99 trillion in 2014 when the event was held for the first time.
"BBTF is proud to take part in the growth of tourism in Indonesia and be recognized as Indonesia’s leading international travel fair," he said.
Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati also expressed his appreciation over the event.
"The BBTF is an annual event and a great opportunity to bring businesses into tourism, aiming to generate more income for tourism in Bali and Indonesia in general,” Sukawati said.
Mr. Pitana, an expert staff member at the Ministry of Tourism, said the ministry had thrown its full support behind the BBTF, which was now the biggest tourism marketplace in Indonesia. “We have supported BBTF since its first event in 2012, and we will continue to do so in the future.

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