Kuoni is seeing a strong rise in demand for group tours from Indonesia, and expects this growth to continue in future.
The company brought 21 European hoteliers to Singapore and Jakarta this week, to meet with local agents. And speaking to Travel Daily today, David Painter, CEO of Kuoni Group Travel Experts, said he has high hopes for both these markets, and Indonesia especially.
“There is a lot of opportunity [in Indonesia] that’s barely been tapped,” Painter said. “We’ve seen growth rates of around 10 to 11% in the last four to five years and we expect this to continue in the foreseeable future.”
Painter added that Indonesia’s “vast population” means there’s a growing pool of potential visitors. “We consider Indonesia to be a bit like China, but about four to five years behind,” Painter said, adding that as Kuoni has recently started opening in more second tier Chinese cities, there will be similar are opportunities for the company in Indonesia in future.
In terms of the trends and opportunities of Indonesian group travel, Painter identified Muslim tourism as one of the biggest potential growth markets, and said that an increasing numbers of its European hotel partners are now catering for this, with halal food and organised prayer times.
Indonesian groups also tend to prefer longer tours (typically 10-12 days, and often up to 17 days) than their Singaporean counterparts, as well as multi-country tours, according to Painter.
And while Singaporean travellers tend to indulge in such activities as shopping and food, Indonesian groups have a preference towards sightseeing. The majority of Indonesian groups comprise first-time travellers, Painter noted.
Italy, France and Switzerland remain the leading destinations for group travellers from both Singapore and Indonesia, although demand is rising for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Kuoni Group Travel Experts will be hosting a series of meetings between its “diamond tier” hotel partners and key travel agents in Singapore and Jakarta this week, to offer hoteliers a better insight into Southeast Asia’s emerging group travel markets. This follows the company’s inaugural Asian mission in China in 2014.