Sports TravelThe country is gearing up for major sporting events that range from motocross racing in Sumbawa to open water swimming in Bali.

Indonesia gets up to speed with sports tourism and recovery

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Travel agents can capitalise on the bigger demand for sports event by creating tour packages for attendees of these upcoming sports events.
Travel agents can capitalise on the bigger demand for sports event by creating tour packages for attendees of these upcoming sports events. Photo Credit: MXGP

Indonesia is looking to place the F1H20 on the same pedestal as F1, its land counterpart. Preparations for the powerboat racing event — the F1H20 World Championships — have kicked into high gear as the country looks to supercharging its sports events scene in hopes of fuelling tourism recovery.

According to the World Tourism Organization, sports tourism is one of the fastest growing forms of tourism. The Indonesian tourism ministry reported that its sports tourism sector was steadily increasing by 6% annually and valued at US$600 billion prior to the pandemic.

Following the success of the Mandalika MotoGP and the bigger demand for sports events to be hosted in Indonesia, tourism minister Sandiaga Uno forecast that the growth could reach US$1.7 billion by 2024.

To spur this along, the tourism ministry is creating an international sports festival that will be held across several destinations. Sandiaga Uno explained that it will aim to increase tourism, open up employment opportunities and stimulate the economy.

The Oceanman 2022 — the only global open water swimming series — that will be held in Bali this July is one such major event that Indonesia will be playing host to for the first time ever. Registrations number in the 400, comprising international participants from Australia, Ukraine, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and several other ASEAN countries.

The InterContinental Bali Resort has been selected as the official hotel for the two-day aquatic event, considering its wide range of sports facilities such as a 1.5km jogging track, indoor and outdoor gym, tennis court, eight swimming pools, and sports massage services.

“We firmly believe that sports tourism has huge potential to contribute to Indonesia's tourism recovery, not only in economic terms but through publicity and awareness too,” said resort manager Christoph Pouls. “So many elements are involved during an international sport event, thus it is crucial to start focusing on this kind of market segment.”

Other upcoming events include Audax Indonesia, long-distance cycling races held in eight cities across the country; the Samosir Lake Toba Ultra marathon; the Asian Basketball Confederation Championship; and the Indonesian Motocross Grand Prix, which will be held on the island of Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) later this month.

Chair of the NTB chapter of ASTINDO (Indonesian Travel Agents Association) and director of Sentosa Tour & Travel Lombok, Sahlan, is offering tour packages for Indonesian Motocross Grand Prix attendees that include trips to lesser-known destinations in Sumbawa.

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