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Indonesian outbound travel agents are anticipating a busy year, with some companies reporting double the bookings in February for travel up to January 2024, as compared to the same time last year.

Travel companies that participated at the Association of Travel Agents in Indonesia (ASTINDO) Travel Fair 2023 in February, revealed that Japan and Western Europe were in high demand, as well as popular destinations such as Australia, Thailand and Singapore.

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The ASTINDO Travel Fair was held in Jakarta from February 23 to 26 and saw great response from travellers

Hatta Pradhana, head of marketing, digital, communication & partnership at Dwidaya Tour, shared that the company has seen a surge in bookings since September 2022.

“The increase in orders (between January and February 2023) was around 60 per cent, (but in) September 2022 to February 2023, (the growth) was more than 110 per cent,” said Hatta.

Meanwhile, Golden Rama Tours & Travel reported that in January and February 2023 alone, the company sent 140 groups of around 20 tourists each on trips that last between six and 14 days, according to its head of marketing, Ricky Hilton.

In addition to the ASTINDO Fair, Golden Rama participated in several other fairs, including its own.

Hilton commented: “From our three-day solo exhibition in January (alone), we already received about 1,000 customers, not to mention the online booking and daily sales.”

Pauline Suharno, president of ASTINDO, expects a good year for outbound travel from the country, considering the results of the ASTINDO Travel Fair.

She said: “Visitors’ interest in the show and our sales were great despite the fact that our show was the last after (the) Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Japan National Tourism Organization travel fairs.”

According to a Google Trends report, the demand for overseas travel began increasing exponentially last year, with searches for “international travel” increasing by 280 per cent compared to 2021, and this trend is expected to continue this year.

Pauline pointed out that Indonesians seem to prefer travelling in smaller groups with families or communities, and fellow travel agents now list smaller-sized groups compared to the previous 40 passengers per group, which could be due to health and safety reasons.

She also noted that travellers are now booking their holidays in advance as opposed to last minute, partly due to the longer visa application processes post-lockdown. Additionally, with prices soaring, booking promotional airfares and tour packages at travel fairs early in the year for trips in June and December are ways to get a good deal.

Hilton, meanwhile, advised that travellers should book between three and six months in advance so they can have peace of mind. However, he stated that there will still be those who “chase last-minute bookings for school holidays and Eid holiday period”.

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