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Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism is launching an online marketplace for travel and tourism services in October this year.

According to a report by Bisnis Indonesia, the platform — called Travel Exchange Indonesia (TXI) — will connect potential customers with online travel agencies (OTAs) and conventional travel agencies to purchase services and products such as airline tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, and tour packages, among others.

With this move, the government aims to digitalise conventional travel agencies, most of who are run by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in order to empower them to compete in the digital era.

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In order to achieve this goal, the ministry has secured partnerships with travel tech startups such as Traveloka, Alitrip, and C-Trip; search engine companies such as Google and Baidu; and travel review platform Tripadvisor.

The initiative is aimed at promoting Indonesia’s travel and tourism industry to its core target markets, consisting Singapore, China, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and Korea.

“Sales will be conducted by the travel agents themselves. The government will do the promotion through Tripadvisor, with the promotional materials being uploaded into it,” said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.

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This not the first time the government has announced initiatives to support SMEs by building an online marketplace to sell their services and products to the international audience. But TXI is the of its kind that focusses solely on travel and tourism industry.

The Indonesian government also operates Inamall, a channel on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform that sells Indonesian products. The partnership is an indicator of the company’s stronger involvement in the government’s big agenda for e-commerce industry.

Recently, the Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara has proposed Alibaba’s Founder and Chairman Jack Ma as Advisor to the e-commerce steering committee.

Indonesia also operates PasarProdukBUMN, an online marketplace exclusively for products made by state-owned enterprises.

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