SINGAPORE� Tourism Ministry of Indonesia plans to collaborate with ferry operators in Johor soon to boost the number of international visitors to some parts of the Riau Islands including Tanjung Pinang, Batam and Bintan.

Speaking to Bernama on the sidelines of the Cross Border Tourism Promotion Programme recently, its Director of Promotion for Southeast Asia, Rizki Handayani, said the collaboration may include offering some attractive and affordable promotion programmes.

We would like to receive more visitors to the Islands via Malaysia. For Malaysians, having an edge in terms of your currency, you could spend more over there and help spur our tourism industry, she said.

Rizki said the ministry may replicate a collaboration that it already has with several Singapore ferry operators in bringing more international visitors via Singapore to the Islands.

For Batam alone, an ongoing trial promotion programme sees ferry return ticket from Singapore to the small Island slashed by more than 50 per cent to S$20 (S$1=RM3.10) including terminal fee during weekdays.

The price applies to travelling with Batam Fast ferry, one of the participating ferry operators, from Harbourfront Terminal to all ports in Batam, namely Batam Center, Sekupang and Nongsa Pura.

To get the S$20 promotion ticket, Rizki said visitors only needed to choose one of the 250 tour packages available from 58 tourism industries, such as hotel, spa, golf, and many more.

According to her, the 250 tour packages were also attractive and affordable, offering as much as 30 per cent discount.

Other than Harbourfront Terminal, she said visitors could alternatively board from the Tanah Merah Terminal in Singapore, priced at S$44 to Tanjung Pinang and S$39 to Bintan.

We would like to have the same collaboration with ferry operators in Johor and we do hope we would get their support as we get a good one from the Singapore side, said Rizki.

She noted that for the Singapore segment, the special price and package would be offered until the end of 2017, and would be repeated next year if the result was satisfying.

One of the participating outlets, ESKA Hotel & Spa in Batam Island offers 30 per cent discount for a family fun day package on weekdays, priced at S$252 or RM1,295 for one night that includes ferry tickets for four persons.

The package also includes 90 minutes of reflexology foot spa, breakfast and dinner for the four persons.


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