Tuesday, December 11, 2007

no, I am not anti-Malaysia and this post wasn't meant to spark that kind of tone in this blog either

Some months ago, I read an opinion column in The Jakarta Post about the unimportance of tourism marketing of places in Indonesia. The writer suggested Indonesia to just preserve the lavishly beautiful sites that it has and spend more budget in improving the quality of facilities and human resources (affordable English course and complimentary hospitality trainings might be useful) supporting the sites. Extravagant advertisement was simply not needed, as places in Indonesia will speak for themselves. The only thing to do is to have good impressions etched deeply to the heart of the visitors.

It was also implied on that article that the gesture of advertising was started by people involved with tourism in Indonesia after they saw a heavy campaign of tourism from its neighboring countries, especially Malaysia (does Truly Asia ring a bell?) and Singapore.

Oh, I was too about to fall victim to one of those ads when I voiced my urge to visit Singaporean Sentosa Island, to only be told by a frequent traveler: Ancol is much better!

Now fellow Indonesians, be proud that you can claim Lombok as your island. Because despite the extension of Visit Malaysia Year, New York Times has named Lombok as one of its 53 Places to Go in 2008 without any Malaysian sites in sight.

In the meantime, the inclusion on the list has somewhat validated the point suggested in the Jakarta Post column whose author sadly I no longer remember. It was a female expert in tourism with a western name if I may recall. If only the tourism people really see this. But for now, I really just want to know how the only tourism experts I know react to this.

By the way. I can already conceived a marketing campaign for Lombok in my head. And yes, it involves surfboards. Dang!

PS: To those who wonder where I stand on those alleged thievery, I can only say, this may happen when you take things for granted. By "this", I also meant cheating spouses.


mellyana said...

we are lacking the campaign of our own beauty that's largely due to the inability to recognize the beauty itself!

a non-expert view :D

Bie said...

Thanks for the comment, Mel.

yeah. and we're back to taking things for granted again. *grin*

I think there are some misconception here in Indonesia. We tend to not realize that sun, sand and swell are in fact luxury items in other parts of the world.

Mike said...

I think that's ads is one of the effective way on giving impression on potential visitor. It's like two sided blade with its dis and advantages.

Totally agree with your view on how Indonesian people take things for granted.

another non expert view

Bie said...

What dis/advantages were you talking about?

If by "ads" you mean "promotion materials", I tend to agree. But what I'm talking about here is actually extravagant ads (just look at Truly Asia bla bla bla thingie).