Jakarta bets on EPRIX for Jakarta’s business events future

Eprix in Monaco pictured

The Jakarta City Government is planning to make use of FIA Formula E, an electric-powered car race known as EPRIX, as a propelling force to further develop tourism and business events for the Indonesian city.

This comes off the back of the announcement by Jakarta’s governor Anies Baswedan that the city will be hosting EPRIX for the next five years, which will flag off for the first time on June 6, 2020. Aside from showcasing Jakarta’s commitment towards emission-free transportation, the event will also contribute towards the city’s economy.

Jakarta wants to drive business events forward on the back of EPRIX; EPRIX in Monaco pictured

Speaking during the Indonesia Exhibition Companies Association (IECA) Afternoon Tea in Jakarta last weekend, Edy Junaedi, Jakarta City Government’s director of Tourism and Culture said: “Tourism and business events play an important role in Jakarta’s economy, which will be even more crucial when the central government moves to East Kalimantan. Events like this will then become the (driver of) economic development,” he said.

Currently, tourism contributes around 28 per cent of the city’s total direct revenue of 6.1 trillion rupiah (US$436 million), of which business events contributes 20 per cent.

In terms of marketing, Edy said the office was finalising the formation of the Jakarta Regional Tourism Promotion Board.

“We expect the board will (be launched) this year. Apart from promoting tourism, the board will function as a business events marketer in place of the terminated Jakarta Convention and Exhibition Bureau. The board will support bidding and other marketing programmes,” Edy told the audience – which comprised IECA members and business events stakeholders – that afternoon.

In response to a member of the audience who reminded the regional government on the importance of access, attractions and a 24-hour visitor information centre, Eddy noted: “Jakarta is improving public transport by developing the second phase of the MRT and LRT (local train services).

“We are increasing the budget for the development of Kota Tua (Old City) and Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands), which is part of the (10 New Bali’s). We are also improving the information services at Soekarno-Hatta (International Airport).”

In the meantime, IECA members urged the regional government to step up its efforts to bring business to the city through attendances at global tradeshows.

From left: InspiraGroup’s Ndang Mawardi and Jakarta Tourism and Culture’s Edy Junaedi at IECA’s Afternoon Tea

Hosea Andreas Runkat, IECA’s chairman, lamented: “Jakarta used to be at international shows such as IMEX Frankfurt, but the city stopped attending such shows in the past five years. We need to be at business events shows to grab business.”

Ndang Mawardi, president and CEO of InspiroGroup, compared Jakarta with competing neighbouring destinations of Singapore and Penang, whose governments have eased regulations and provided partial funding for inbound MICE groups.

This year, the regional government’s promotion budget was pegged at 10 billion rupiah, while the proposed budget for next year has been doubled, which bodes well for marketing efforts.

As such, Eddy said that his company has been taking part in various smaller travel marts and business events, though these were smaller than the ones that the now-defunct Jakarta Convention and Exhibition Bureau once took part in. Regardless, he believes this will improve once the tourist board is formed.

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