TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Indonesian embassy in Moscow, is taking part in 22nd "Otdykh" Russian International Tourism Forum in the Expo Center, Moscow, to welcome the winter holiday.
The Tourism Ministry has invited seven Indonesian tourism companies to take part in the international forum, the Indonesian embassy said.
Indonesian Ambassador to Russia Wahid Supriyadi when visiting the stand of "Wonderful Indonesia" welcomed the Indonesian participation in the international tourism forum.
The ambassador said he was optimistic that more Russians would visit Indonesia in the winter this year.
"In the first half of 2016 , the number of Russian visitors to Indonesia rose 14 percent. Hopefully by the end of the year the number would shoot up," he said.
In order to support promotion of the Indonesian tourism objects, the embassy held a meeting at the Indonesian stand with three Russian leaders of tourism industry -- Yury Barzykin, Vice President of the Russian Association of Tourism Industry; Andrey Gavrilov, President of the Russian Alliance of Travel Agencies and Vladimir Sharov, President of the Russian Domestic Tourism.
The ambassador said the meeting was to discuss strategies to increase the number of Russian tourists to Indonesia and vice versa.
The Indonesian government has granted visa free travel for 169 countries including Russia in a bid to increase the number of foreign visitors to the country.
"Indonesia has granted visa free visits for Russians . This would make it easier for Russians to visit Indonesia especially in winter," Executive Director of the Russia-Indonesia Business Council Mikhail Kuritsyn said.
"We also support negotiations between the Indonesian embassy and Russian authorities on visa free travel for at least 14 days for Indonesians in Russia," Kuritsyn said.
At the meeting Indonesia and Russia agreed to open direct flights between the two countries.
In addition, Russian businessmen hoped that the Indonesian government could intensify tourism promotions including promotion of cultural wealth of regions other than Bali to Russian visitors.
The tourism Expo "Otdykh" is held every year since 1995. Around 700 tourism companies form 70 countries took part in the 22nd "Otdykh".
The participation of Indonesia in the expo is expected to draw more Russian tourists to Indonesia. In 2015 , more than 66,000 Russians visited Indonesia, and in 29016, the number is expected to rise to at least 75,000.
Indonesia has been more aggressive in promoting its tourism wealth hoping to draw at least 20 million foreign tourists to the country in 2019.
This year the government sets target for the number of foreign visitors to the country at 12 million up from around 10 million in 2015.