Batam to be elected as RI-Singapore tourist gate

Jakarta (Antara News) - The city of Batam will become a bridge of tourism and tourist destination between Indonesia and Singapore under a strategic partnership between Citilink, the low-cost based airlines and Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

"As transit for tourists or ordinary people visiting Indonesia or Singapore and vice versa, Batam is a strategic city both for bridging tourism for Indonesia and as a tourist destination," Deputy President of Citilink Joseph A Saul said after signing a memorandum of understanding with STB here on Thursday.

Citilink is the strategic business unit of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.

He said the cooperation would facilitate those visiting Singapore from Indonesia or the other way around.

"They can fly directly to Singapore after a transit in Batam without buying another ticket from Batam to Singapore," he added.

Besides, the cooperation would be an advantage to Citilink, the Singapore Tourism Board as well as the end-users.

And thus, he added each country could increase the number of tourists under this cooperation.

Director for ASEAN International Operation of the Singapore Tourism Board, said the cooperation would be a business development for the two sides.

"The cooperation enables many Indonesians to travel from one city to another," he said.

STB`s Manager for Eastern Indonesia, Hassan Kassim said the tourist traffic from Indonesia to Singapore and vice versa would be high.

According to data of 2005, the number of Indonesians visiting Singapore reached 1.8 million, while the number of Singaporeans visiting Indonesia totaled to 1.6 million, he added.(*)
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