After welcoming 1,700 Chinese tourists from the Changsha city of Hunan province, Batam city of Riau Islands will be hosting a total of 2,008 tourists from Ordos city of China beginning on August 11. For this year, the tourism ministry is targeting to welcome two million Chinese tourists to Indonesia, up 800,000 from 2016.
“It’s the same procedure with the previous group, these 2,088 Chinese tourists will fly to Batam using charter flights. The difference is the previous group used Lion Air, while this group from Ordos will fly with Citilink,” explained Hang Nadim International Aiport Batam marketing general manager, Dendi Gustinandar.
The airplane first leaves Batam with the flight number QG 5900 at 04:30 p.m. to Ordos. The flight from Ordos is then scheduled to depart at 12:00 a.m. with the flight number QG 5901. The final stop of this flight is Jakarta with a transit in Batam for Custom Immigration Quarantine (CIQ).
Ordos is said to be China’s largest ghost city with the largest supplies of coal and natural gas. It’s said that the city owns 1/6 of natural gas in the world. Citilink will divide the tourists into 12 flights that will fly from August 11 to October. Ordos is known for its lavish government projects, including the new Kangbashi District, a large District with abundant infrastructure, seldom used by residents and frequently described as a “ghost city”
Since 2011, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ordos and Mongolia has won over other developing countries in the East Asia Pacific market. In 2013, the GDP of Mongolia was at 11.7 percent. “These Chinese tourists come to Batam with a free-visa policy. They will travel using an Airbus A320 airplane that can carry up to 180 passengers with flight numbers QG5900 and QG5901,” added Citilink area manager for Kalimantan and Sumatra, R Hendra JS.
Moreover, Mongolia and Indonesia apparently have something in common between them. The word “Rupiah” for Indonesian currency actually comes from “rupia” in Mongolian that means silver.
“Ordos and Mongolia are covered with snowy mountains. The people there don’t have close access to the ocean. Batam offers sea attractions that will definitely make them happy,” said tourism ministry’s deputy assistant for Asia-Pacific tourism promotion, Vinsensius Jemadu.“China provides the biggest number of overseas tourists, its outbound number reaches 120 million in 2015 and it keeps on increasing. Meanwhile, the number of tourists in Riau Islands is far from reaching the 2017 target of 2.6 million. Up until May, there were only 801,000 visits,” Vinsensius added.
Vinsensius said that based on the history, in the past Mongolia was being ruled by Genghis Khan who was then followed by Timur Lang and Kublai Khan. These rulers at one point invaded southern countries such as India, Afghanistan and Pakistan, up to the northern ones such as Russia. These countries then did trades to other parts of the world including Indonesia, hence the reason why Indian currency is called Rupee, Indonesian currency is called Rupiah and Russian is called Rubel.