Integrated, Multichannel Tourism Marketing: Gadgets, Books, Films & more

When content is king and there are multiple channels to distribute various types of content, how can we make sure that the right message appears at the right people at the right time?

Today that travelers are using a combination of offline/online sources and platforms throughout the travel buying cycle, it is crucial to develop integrated, multichannel marketing campaigns as a result of proper strategic planning. Right content at the right time means appropriate messaging per channel, smartly using available tools which will all come together to complement the overall destination brand.

DMOs are called to utilize any given opportunity to pull their audience deeper into the destination’s brand, by being active content distributors, combining traditional promotional tools and marketing activities in smart ways which place excellent content where their target market is.

Let’s have a look at a variety of recent destination marketing initiatives across various channels and mediums:

First Google Glass Tourism Campaign

Tourism authorities at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel have become the first to use Google Glass technology for a tourism marketing campaign,  wanting to give visitors a hands-free way to capture their vacation.

The Floridian beach area saw 1.3 million people create 17.9 million social media impressions in four days earlier this month when five bloggers, writers and authors visited the area under the #FindYourIsland hashtag, with the new glass technology to test whether this could actually be a new way of visitors’ destination experience.

Google Glass can show users various information through the lenses while it allows the user to take photos and video and share them on social media platforms by voice command. New way of experiences on the way?

Google glass

The five ambassadors showed the region’s natural beauty, history, outdoors, art and culture and culinary offering through a series of challenges. Potential tourists participating had the chance to win a holiday to the area or a pair of Google Glasses when they become available in 2014.

Tweets included the #throughglass hashtag to maximize the spread of all the images, videos and blogs.

Tourism Ireland Launches Online Foodie Films

Tourism Ireland has launched the first in a series of new online short films, with the intention of enticing foodies across the globe to visit Ireland.  For the first short, online now and available to view here, Cobh and Cork are in the spotlight.

Tourism Ireland aims to tell the story of our indigenous food, to capture the attention of foodies worldwide. The short videos, called Flavours of Ireland, aim to whet the appetites of those interested in a culinary journey on their holiday or short break.

at the same time,

Florida Tourism is Getting into Reality TV

The chief marketing officer for Visit Florida recently announced that the state’s quasi-public tourism marketing agency is supporting three new reality TV shows with three cable networks.

VF realityshows

The shows on the Golf Channel, Telemundo and BET will feature Florida settings and start running next year.

It’s the first time Visit Florida is getting into the reality TV business, although the agency has supported other television ventures, including a Florida cooking show with Emeril Lagasse that will have a second season.

Meanwhile, going beyond movies,

Hong Kong Tourism Marketing through Books

In its latest marketing drive, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has collaborated with bestselling Indian author Durjoy Datta to write a romantic novel set in the city, “Hold My Hand”.


The HKTB firmly believes that the passion of Indian consumers for books and Datta’s popularity in the market will generate huge interest in Hold My Hand and Hong Kong, the city where the love story in the book takes place.

HKTB Executive Director Anthony Lau said, “India, with its rapidly growing outbound tourism, is one of Hong Kong’s five key new markets. Seeing Indian’s passion for books, we decided to go for an unusual way this year to attract more Indian visitors to Hong Kong.  We hope that our ground breaking PR initiatives, including the book, will help us consolidate Hong Kong’s presence in the market and attract more Indian visitors to Hong Kong.”

Leveraging the novel, the HKTB will collaborate with major attractions and other trade partners in Hong Kong to develop a special “Hold My Hand” Travel Package that features the romantic places visited by the novel’s protagonists. It will also partner with Macau and Indian travel agents to promote multi-destination itineraries to Indian travellers.

Sources: Hong Kong Tourism BoardVisit FloridaTourism IrelandThe Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Destination Marketing for Business & Pleasure

The MICE industry is reportedly experiencing a ‘moderate growth’ through out 2011 and into 2012 as the need for international corporate presence increases.

As companies are now ‘savvy’ at seeking out deals, to remain competitive, suppliers will need to understand their business customer and be able to provide added value to their accommodation, travel and facility offerings.

Key trends include the identified need for better collaboration between planners and suppliers, good quality venues and facilities, and greater content for MICE. Being able to meet corporate social responsibility requests will give providers a competitive edge, sustainability will remain a key objective for companies, and growing usage of technology is already visible within the industry.

A number of reports highlight the potential increase in the industry ‘dabbling’ with virtual channels and social media. Technology and alternative virtual channels are predicted to become more mainstream as interaction, innovation and ‘connectivity’ become more important, perhaps changing the way the industry works and communicates. The online environment is no longer seen as a threat to the live event circuit, but as a tool to deliver a greater impact and involve even more professionals.

So, how have destinations recently used this environment to attract business tourism to their area?

Tourism Ireland’s Twitter Tour for MICE

Tourism Ireland’s British office recently announced a new business tourism promotion offering senior executives a chance to win a tour of Ireland by Twitter.

In collaboration with the International Special Events Society (ISES) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Tourism Ireland launched a competition aimed at senior executives involved in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) sector. The prize on offer is a ‘t’weetour’ a tour of Ireland that can be followed on Twitter.

Members of ISES and ICCA who are active in social media are being targeted to enter the competition. Three winners will be selected to travel to Ireland this month, courtesy of Tourism Ireland, and each will have their own itinerary. Winners are  invited to live tweet their experiences in Ireland, highlighting the country as a destination to their network of colleagues in the industry.


Tourism New Zealand “Beyond Convention”

Tourism New Zealand has just introduced a new campaign to internationally market the business events sector. “Beyond convention” is the creative territory that will provide an umbrella theme for all Tourism New Zealand’s destination marketing material for the business events sector.

A sneak preview of the theme and marketing material was revealed at MEETINGS 2012 at SkyCity in Auckland.

Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Marketing Communications Justin Watson said it is the first time a creative theme has been used by the organisation for this sector. “…Beyond convention can be applied across the sector – for meetings and conferences, convention relates to the event. In the incentives space, it is more about promoting that there is nothing conventional about an incentive trip to New Zealand.”

The theme will be rolled out promoting New Zealand across a range of concepts such as “beyond the meet and greet”; “beyond the morning break” and “beyond the cityscape”.


Visit York 4 Meetings

Visit York, the city’s official tourism agency, hasjust launched a new business tourism brand: Visit York 4 Meetings.

The changes will also see the first ever ‘Visit York in London’ meet the buyer event, aimed at attracting conference buyers from London and the South, as well as a number of international business tourism marketing opportunities in partnership with Visit England.

Other projects the Visit York 4 Meetings team are working on include the Conference Ambassador Programme with 30 Ambassadors on board, a dedicated sales day working with York venue sales staff to drive business conference bookings to the city and a programme of exhibitions and workshops promoting York’s conference venues.


New Marketing Campaigns for NY, Australia & Ireland

The Reinvention of  “I Love NY” logo with Crowd Sketches

New York just launched a new tourism campaign featuring a reinvention of the iconic “I Love NY” logo.

For the first time ever, the State has asked New Yorkers and visitors to help remake the “I Love NY” logo by submitting personal sketches depicting what they love about New York State (The “I Love NY” logo has not been used in television ads in over three years).

People can replace the heart in the iconic “I [HEART] NY” logo with their own drawing of what they most love about the state and submit it online where they will be displayed in an online gallery. It is the first time in nearly 40 years, since the logo’s inception, that New York State has officially asked the public for their interpretations of the “I Love NY” and for the reasons they love New York.

Select drawings may be used to replace the heart in “I Love NY” in new ads focused on New York’s many different experiences in future campaigns.

The new “I Love NY” ads are part of a $5 million tourism marketing campaign within the larger “New York Open for Business,” a $50 million statewide business initiative. The “I Love NY” ad campaign is expected to expand to feature other tourism seasons in the future.

Tourism Ireland to Londoners: “Escape the Madness”

While this summer’s Olympics promises to be a very exciting time in London, the event will inevitably draw huge crowds which will undoubtedly make commuting – and day-to-day life in general – more hectic for Londoners. Tourism Ireland will seize this opportunity – targeting hassled and weary Londoners – and present Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland as the ideal “escape” destination during this busy time.

Over 8 million people living in London will see Tourism Ireland’s “escape the madness” ad campaign this month, featuring an image of a wonderfully peaceful Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge. From next week, ads will run on the London underground, highlighting the open spaces and lack of congestion there; over 200 large ads will appear at different tube stations across the city, targeting frustrated commuters during morning and evening rush hours. Ads will also appear in the Evening Standard, the popular free daily newspaper which is read by millions of commuters each day, again with a message urging people to “escape” to the beautiful landscape and open spaces of Northern Ireland.

Social media will also help create awareness; a campaign on Facebook (Tourism Ireland has almost 120,000 fans across GB) and Twitter (over 2,300 followers) saw Tourism Ireland post status updates on the Olympic Torch Relay around Northern Ireland this week and messages will be posted regularly before and during the games. The hashtag #Escapethemadness will be used to create plenty of lively conversations about the island of Ireland on the social networks in GB.

A specially-created web page on is also promoting the torch relay, as well as the key sporting events and festivals. A series of itineraries for the thousands of accredited and non-accredited media visiting London from across the globe has been developed while Tourism Ireland is also working closely with key tour operators in all overseas markets.


There’s nothing like Australia, Phase 2

The latest phase of Tourism Australia’s global marketing campaign, There’s nothing like Australia, has just launched  in China – Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable overseas tourism market.

With a clear digital focusTourism Australia will spend approximately A$180 million over the next three years rolling out the evolving campaign in its key international markets and in Australia. It expects to achieve a total investment of A$250 million by securing up to A$70 million in additional funding from industry partners to support joint marketing activities, aimed at promoting Australia with a clear and consistent voice.

In addition to a new broadcast ad and print executions the campaign boasts a strong digital and social media focus, and will leverage the advocacy of Tourism Australia’s three million Facebook fans. Other elements include a new, interactive tablet app and hub on Tourism Australia has created an interactive tablet application which is unique in both concept and content. With inspiring multimedia content and intuitive functionality, to take customers further into the stories played out in the ad and provide more information on the locations.

Tourism Australia is seeking the involvement of the Australian industry in the campaign through partnership opportunities and by sharing campaign tools and resources.

The soundtrack for the ad, “It’s Like Love”, is the result of a unique musical collaboration last year between the two musicians who wrote the composition as part of Tourism Australia’s multi-award winning Making Tracks campaign.

Destination Marketing & Sport Tourism

Sport tourism is much more than just one-off sport activities. It can form a unique culture at the destination, enhance long term tourism development and certainly has great economic benefits as one of the fastest growing and more profitable tourism sectors; that is if planned and developed appropriately.

Apart from the direct revenue that high spending sport tourism visitors can bring to the destination, there are also indirect benefits to look for when developing and promoting sport tourism and especially the great potential of favourable word of mouth and increased media attention to sustain and increase a positive destination image. Here are some recent cases of destinations embracing the sports industry in various ways.

Real Madrid Resort Island

One of the world’s biggest and best supported football clubs, Real Madrid, recently revealed more details of its ambitious plan about the world’s first ‘sportainment’ destination on Al-Marjan Island in Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK).

The 50-hectare resort will be the flagship of the Al-Marjan Development and aims to attract one million visitors a year when it is completed in January 2015. RAK had been chosen for the pioneering project due to the Emirate’s location, equidistant between Europe and the Far East, home to half the estimated 300 million fans and followers of the club, according to Perez, President of Real, in an innovative way in which football clubs try to make money.

The first recreational tourism complex built under the Real Madrid trademark will be a comprehensive sporting destination complete with luxury hotels, a marina and amusement park featuring the use of latest technologies such as hologram animations. It will also house a 10,000-seat stadium, the first in the world to open directly open to the sea, as well as sports facilities, a club museum, shopping mall, private beaches and residential areas.

Perez added: ‘This is a decisive and strategic step that will enhance the strength of this institution in the Middle East and Asia, a key region in which the passion for this club is very apparent and growing. The project may be seen as unusual for a football club, but we feel this will set a trend across the industry as clubs try to find new ways to make money.”

The development is a decisive step forward towards the emirate becoming a tourism destination in its own right. By 2021, RAK expects around 20 percent of its GDP will be generated by tourism-related activities, which even by 2011 figures would mean the industry would be generating in excess of $1 billion per year, an excellent return on investments currently under way.

Tourism Ireland & Lyon Football Club

To capitalise on the huge exposure of the club’s home games, highly visible sideline ads for Ireland will urge French consumers to ‘vibrez au rythme de l’Irlande’ (part of Tourism Ireland’s brand new ‘Jump into Ireland’ campaign) until the end of the football season in May at Stade Gerland. The new deal marks the start of Tourism Ireland’s ambitious plan to increase visitor numbers from France.

OL is one of the most popular football clubs in France with a huge following right across the country. Around 5 million TV viewers will see Lyon games when they air on top French TV stations including Canal Plus, Orange and Sports Plus.

Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar said: “This is a great example of innovative thinking, which will raise awareness of Ireland as a tourism destination in some five million French living rooms. Competition from rival tourism markets is getting ever more intense, so we need to constantly find new ways of selling Ireland as a tourism destination. I’m also delighted to see sporting occasions being used to promote Irish tourism in this manner.”

France is Ireland’s fourth largest overseas tourism market. Following our extensive review of the French market last year, Tourism Ireland has put an ambitious plan in place to increase the number of French holidaymakers by +40% over four years, according to Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland.

“We are targeting a number of new consumer segments which we believe have strong potential for growth, including a younger and more active audience – hence our partnership this spring with Olympique Lyonnais. French holidaymakers are younger than average and it is now easier than ever to get to the island of Ireland from all parts of France, including from Lyon with a year-round flight operated by Aer Lingus. “


Tourism Campaigns on Facebook. Like this!

Tourism Ireland launched Irish-themed Facebook game

Tourism Ireland is hoping to exploit the phenomenal popularity of social networks in the weeks ahead by convincing more than 100,000 people to play an Irish-themed Facebook game which it launched on St Patrick’s Day.

The Ireland Town game allows Facebook users to create an “idyllic town in Ireland” with the help of a virtual tour guide called Sally. Once they have Irish utopia created, Facebook users can then explore iconic sites and attractions around the country without leaving their couches.

After certain challenges are completed, players can progress to the next level of the game and those who make it through all the levels will be in with a chance of winning a real world prize of a holiday to Ireland.

Tourism Ireland is hoping that playing the game will bring the Irish holiday experience to life for potential visitors – albeit without the rain – and they will be tempted to swap the virtual for the real and come to Ireland to spend hard cash in the months ahead.

Fans can progress faster if they convince their friends on Facebook to sign up and the tourism authority has expressed the hope that “the incredible viral effect of social games” will see up to 100,000 people playing Ireland Town over the coming weeks.

It is aiming to ape games like FarmVille and CityVille which are hugely popular with Facebook users with nearly a quarter of users in the US and Britain playing social games at least once a week.

“It is a unique promotional tool and a first, as no other national tourist board had done this before,” said Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s central marketing director.


Visit Britain launches Facebook app targeting Generation Y travelers

Tourism body VisitBritain has launched a Facebook app targeting Generation Y travelers encouraging them to visit the UK via a personal treasure hunt that takes place on the social network.

VisitBritain has partnered with STA Travel, Travel CUTS and Transat Holidays to launch the app, called Unite the Invite, which is only available to Facebook users in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The app, which was created by Albion, involves a competition to match two Facebook users via the social network. Users register with the app, upload their picture and wait for a “match” with another Facebook user.

Users are then given a virtual invite to the UK, which is split between themselves and their “match”. Users then post the picture of their ‘match’ on their wall, and ask their Facebook friends to share the picture in order to try to find their competition partner through the social networking site.

The fastest pair to find each other will win a trip to London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh or Cardiff.

Laurence Bresh, director of marketing, VisitBritian, said: “The idea that we’re all connected by six degrees of separation has intrigued people for generations.”

“This campaign attempts to prove that theory. And, to our knowledge, no other tourist board or travel agency has taken this approach to engage students and young professionals.”

Tourism Australia and Quiksilver launch Facebook competition

Tourism Australia and Quiksilver have announced that they have launched a Facebook contest, “Surf, Sun and Social Networking in Australia,” that will send one lucky winner to Australia to be the official blogger for the 2012 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast.

Beginning March 14 and ending April 8 contestants will have the opportunity to upload their best adventure photo to either or and describe in 100 words or less what they think is the best adventure Down Under. Whether it’s hiking in search of wildlife, on a quest for the perfect break, or discovering a new world underwater, Australia’s got it all. And for those who aren’t familiar with Aussie adventures, they can get inspired by visiting or The winner will be determined by who has the most “likes” at the end of the contest period.

“There’s nothing like an Australian adventure,” said Daryl Hudson, vice president, the Americas for Tourism Australia. “From our iconic beaches, to our world-class cities and of course our native wildlife, the winning blogger will be on the front lines of some amazing experiences.”

The winner will receive a two-week trip to Australia including round-trip international economy airfare from Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, or New York to Australia; one week in Queensland attending and blogging from the 2012 Quiksilver Pro, and vacation and blogging for one week in another Australian state of their choice.

“The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast is the premier surf event in all of Australia and the kick-off to the world tour every year,” said Eddie Anaya, Marketing Director of Quiksilver. “It’s exciting to partner with Tourism Australia to offer one of our fans a behind the scenes experience where they get to blog and rub elbows with the best surfers in the world at one of Australia’s legendary surf breaks – Snapper Rocks.”


Destination BrandWatch: New Marketing Initiatives from VisitBritain, Tourism Ireland, Thailand, Peru & Indonesia

VisitBritain launches check-in game through Facebook Places

Nice idea from VisitBritain using social media and location check-ins to attract people to a global competition running through its Facebook page. SourceTnooz

Tourism Ireland targets US as market returns to growth in 2011

Tourism Ireland will begin its marketing drive for 2011 in the US market next week, with an extensive promotional campaign beginning on 26 December.

The all-Ireland tourism body said the worst is now over for the US travel market, with consumer confidence and travel sentiment there improving.  It therefore advised that this market will return to growth in 2011.

The new campaign will include radio ads that will air in cities with direct flights – and good indirect flight services – to the island of Ireland, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas and Houston.  In addition, it will include online advertising on popular news and lifestyle websites.  Tourism Ireland’s ‘Go’ webisodes (a series of short online movies produced by Tourism Ireland and starring ‘real’ local characters from around Ireland) will also highlight the fun and spontaneity of a holiday here. Click here for the full article.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Raises its Digital Profile, Introducing the ‘Amazing Thailand’ Mobile Application

Expects more than 100,000 downloads before the end of this year and reveals the digital marketing strategy for 2011

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) introduces the “Amazing Thailand” mobile application  run on the hit platforms of iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and popular devices; such as, iPad and iPod Touch. This emphasizes the success of promoting tourism through online marketing  to raise the organisation’s profile in the digital world, and at the same time revealing its digital marketing strategy in the year 2011. Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni,  Governor of TAT said “We introduced the “Amazing Thailand” mobile application because of our success in promoting tourism through the online market to catch up to the digital world by using digital marketing and social media marketing.” At present, “Amazing Thailand” has more than 120,000 fans on its Facebook fan page which is ranked one of the top 3 tourism promotion organizations of the world and Twitter @ThailandFanClub for foreign tourists and @Go2Thailand for Thai travellers. Mr. Suraphon remarked that TAT has developed the “Amazing Thailand” mobile application   which is a way to increase a channel to promote Thailand’s tourism to more than 300 million potential target users worldwide. Moreover, this can make the most of the information in the TAT website, increase tourist databases, fans and followers in social media, and support new marketing campaigns through TAT mobile applications in the future. The three highlights of the “Amazing Thailand” mobile application are : 1. Various Contents – there are more than 10,000 pieces of information about tourism in Thailand mainly on the ‘Destination’ and ‘Events’ menus. The destination menu highlights top 10 destinations and shows another 89 destinations throughout Thailand. Each destination guide consists of how to get there, where to go, where to stay, where to eat, and shopping. The events section gives information about events and festivals in Thailand, ordered by month. 2. Location-Based Search – searching for the destination on a mobile map by using GPS technology in the smart phone which tourists can search for nearby tourist attractions and the search results can be displayed on Google map. Moreover there is a ‘Search’ menu for tourists to search by using a keyword. 3. User Experience – tourists can share their travel experiences on mobile phones via social networks i.e. Facebook and Twitter or by e-mail. There is speculation that business travellers will be the first to use this application through smart phones and leisure travellers will increase  their use of the service in the future. For the future development of the “Amazing Thailand” mobile application, it will be done in every platform and device popular among tourists. TAT will focus on the ease of use, a variety of information to match with each group of users in important niche markets; such as, wedding and diving. Furthermore, features; such as, a review and rating, personal travel plan, flights schedules, hotel reservations, real-time real-location promotion al activities, and check-in will  also be developed in the near future. All in all, these are important steps for TAT to raise the organisation’s profile in the digital world and respond to tourists’ behaviour and change in technology to promote and support tourism in Thailand. Get ‘Amazing Thailand’

application at: BlackBerry :

iPhone / iPod Touch :

iPad :

Android :

For more information please contact : About PR Co., Ltd. Araya Hengtrakulsin (Koi) Tel. 086-399-1009 E-mail: Piyaporn Pornrattanachotisakul (Aey) Tel. 083-9150751 Image Attachments Links: SOURCE Tourism Authority of Thailand Back to top RELATED LINKS

Tourism campaign to be launched in southern Peru

Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) together with the private sector will launch “Sur Pone” campaign in 2011 in order to boost domestic tourism in southern Peru, Minister Ferreyros reported Friday.

Minister Ferreyros recalled that “Cusco Pone” first campaign recorded interesting results after selling nearly 65,000 flight tickets.

“We also launched the campaign “Selva Pone” which sold over 12,000 tickets. Obviously we sold more tickets to Cuzco as this destination receives the most number of tourists in the country”, Ferreyros said.

The Ministry will maintain its same strategy in 2011, launching the campaign “Sur Pone” and re launching “Cusco Pone”.

“We expect tourists may take advantage of this promotions and get to know the country, but also create a value chain in the visited destinations”, added the minister.

More marketing funds for Balearic tourism in 2011

The Spanish central government has awarded the Balearics €54 million to invest in tourism next year. The money comes after talks between officials in Palma and Madrid recognised the central role tourism plays in the Balearic economy. The Balearic government is delighted with the investment and say that the region is now on the road to recovery.

The €54 million will be added to existing budgets. €10 million will be invested in the Playa de Palma regeneration project, and €20 million will be used to galvanise Palma’s half-built convention centre. Both these projects are ambitious in their vision, and will benefit greatly from this major investment. €20 million has been ear-marked for promoting ‘alternative tourism’, such as cultural and sporting attractions which will complement the strong ‘sea and sunshine’ holiday sector.

The remaining €12 million will be used in the creation of a ‘Platform for Logistical Tourism Distribution (TURISTEC) which is designed to help the local travel industry by providing internet and social media platforms. It is expected to to completed and in use by April 2011.

RI to launch ‘Wonderful Indonesia’ to lure tourists

Indonesia will launch the new branding “Wonderful Indonesia” as part of its tourism campaign to attract up to 7.7 million foreign tourists next year.

Speaking at a yearend briefing in Jakarta Thursday, Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik said that with the new campaign brand, which would replace the previous “Visit Indonesia Year”, the target could be achieved.

The new catchphrase, he said, was much stronger than the previous one as it reflected the country’s beautiful nature, unique culture, varied food, hospitable people and price competitiveness in various kinds of services.

About 7 million foreign tourists visited Indonesia last year, an increase from 6.4 million in 2009.

“We expect each tourist will spend around US$1,100 and with an optimistic target of 7.7 million arrivals, we will get $8.3 billion,” he said, adding that 50 percent of the revenue would be generated from about 600 meetings, conventions and exhibitions that were expected to take place in various places throughout the country next year.

Wacik further explained that his ministry would also promote the country’s attractions under the eco-cultural banner.

“We picked this theme to cope with the trend that foreign tourists will choose eco-friendly tourist sites, hotels and services. All
tourism stakeholders, then, are expected to upkeep their environment,” he said.

Wacik pointed out that the Komodo National Park in West Nusa Tenggara, one of 28 finalists of the New Seven Wonders of Nature competition, as one of 15 prime tourist destinations to be promoted by the ministry next year.

“We’ll also continue our Visit Museum Year campaign. We’ll build a number of museums and revitalize existing museums,” he said without explaining further.

The director general for tourism destination development, Firmansyah Rahim, said his ministry planned to improve infrastructure facilities, mainly airports.

“We will widen runways at a number of airports to accommodate large aircraft,” he said.

Among the airports are Selangit in North Sumatra, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi and Toraja in South Sulawesi.

He also said his ministry would develop about 560 tourism villages across the archipelago, adding to the current 200 sites and contributing to the 2,000 targeted by 2014.

The director of marketing development, Syamsul Lussa, said that to reach the targeted number of foreign tourists, his ministry still had to solve problems, such as aircraft capacity and immigration services.

Currently, airlines have 14.7 million aircraft seats for domestic as well as international tourists.

“Seventy percent of foreign tourists use air services to travel. We need an additional 1.7 million seats to carry 7.7 million tourists,” he said.

“We also lack counters for visa-on-arrival services because the planning of airports is not in line with the development of needs,” he added. (lnd)