Since August 1st, Indonesia is having one of Asia’s favorite film characters as an ambassador for tourism. Deputy Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sapta Nirwandar unveiled recently that Jackie Chan has been named tourism ambassador for China due to the immense popularity of the actor in Chinese speaking markets. The actor will officially be presented as Indonesia Tourism Ambassador during the Guangzhou Travel Fair on August 30. The actor is due to perform Indonesia’s famous song “Bengawan Solo” in front of a Chinese audience at the show.
“Jackie Chan is the most popular movie star in Asia, especially in Hong Kong. Therefore, we’ve agreed that his appointment will help boost Indonesia’s popularity among Chinese travelers,” Nirwandar declared to Indonesian media.
The title is totally honorific and does not include any ‘wage’. However the actor will be invited to participate at some events celebrating Indonesian tourism. In the USA, Hollywood star Richard Gere has also been for a couple of years Indonesia Tourism Ambassador. While Indonesia revised last week its forecasts for 2014 to 9.8 million of foreign travelers –instead of 9.5 million in previous forecasts- the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy estimated that Chinese total arrivals could grow from 750,000 last year to a million this year. This year, Chinese total number of travellers to Indonesia took over Australia, to become the third largest incoming market after Singapore and Malaysia. Other initiatives towards the Chinese market include the launching of an Indonesia-China Tourism Year and a website in mandarin language.
Despite the increase in popularity of Indonesia, Chinese travellers continue to see negatively Indonesia. According to a poll done by the China Tourism Academy, Chinese travellers consider Indonesia as one of the most unsatisfying destinations due to poor infrastructure. Indonesia was ranked 20th out of 22 destinations in the Chinese outbound tourism satisfaction index for the first quarter of 2014.