Incentive travel demand to Europe from Indonesia remains high, but according to local planners, shorthaul trips within Asia are more feasible due to the rising cost of travel, the ease of access, and the availability of seats.
Stephanus Suharli, the owner of Xpert Indonesia, told TTGmice that Thailand, Japan, and South Korea currently rank highly for his clients.
And although Europe remains in high demand for incentive travel, Stephanus shared that obtaining seats and visas have been progressively more difficult since June 2022 as more countries reopened.
“There are many enquiries for incentive travel, but meeting clients’ expectations of travel time, itineraries, and budgets, are the challenges we face today in securing the business,” he lamented.
Moreover, prices have risen across the board. In 2019, a ticket to Japan including taxes cost around 7.2 million rupiah, (US$486), but today the airfare alone is eight million rupiah while taxes alone cost seven million rupiah.
“Although the land arrangement prices remain the same, the overall package is now very costly. Even as groups agree to the increase, seats may not be available,” Stephanus said.
These days, to materialise the business, Xpert Indonesia asks their clients to pick a destination, and the company will help them find the dates where airline seats are available.
“Only when we managed to secure the seats and clients agree on the budget that we move on to creating the programme,” Stephanus said.
Rudy Techrisna Satyadi, managing director at Multi Holiday Travel, agreed: “In the past, we discussed the destination, the land arrangement and dates of travel with the clients before booking the flights. Now, it is the other way around.”
His clients are similarly looking at Thailand and Japan, as well as Vietnam.
Rudy also noted that clients tend to prefer mono destinations, and are avoiding domestic flights. To provide clients with fresh experiences, attractions are now located within easy reach of their chosen destination.
Rudy added that incentive travel budgets will inevitably need to be increased.
Meanwhile, for Orange Incentive House, under Panorama JTB Tours, Europe continues to appeal as it offers multiple destinations that make the incentive trip more value-for-money. Moreover, ground arrangements in places like Thailand, have also gone up.
If clients choose to spend it regionally, however, Vidya Hermanto, chief experience officer of Panorama, shared that Singapore appeals because it provides a multi-destination option as it has cruises that also call at ports in Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.