Indonesia in 2018 – best sellers waterparks & animals, Bali leads the way

Indonesia is a young nation. It also has one of the fastest growing digital buyer penetrations, making its consumers one of the most interesting and sought after groups in Asia. This trend is impacting the country’s attractions industry too. 

The growing urban consuming class is expected to reach 85 million by 2020. So here is a quick update together with our analysis of what has happened in the last year or so.

thibault paquin celebrating lifeBy Thibault Paquin

Probably the most notable development is the clear consolidation of large attractions clusters across Indonesia.

In North Jakarta, Ancol reopened its Seaworld aquarium. It opened the Faunaland zoo and started working on the redevelopment of Ocean Dream Samudra into Dufan Ocean, a large marine theme park. With billboards all over the city, big events every weekend/holiday and a strong social media presence, Ancol is ubiqitous.

Similarly, in East Java Jatim Parks has recently opened its Dino Park at Jatim Park III. This brings the total number of Jatim Parks attractions in the small city of Batu to 10. They have also boosted their marketing efforts – including overseas – with the aim of positioning itself as the must-see destination in East Java.

Combined, the number of annual visitors to each of these attractions clusters would be in the region of 4 million. This means that collectively they are reaching the size of some of the top 15 theme parks in Asia. Does this mean Indonesia is ready for an international theme park?

Price war and a changing market

This is where the second trend we are noticing – price war – is putting a damper on large gated park developments. For each of the “small” gates at Ancol or Jatim Parks a visitor would pay well under US$10 ancol logo indonesiaafter discounts and promotions. Value for money therefore, is probably the key driver in this market.  The middle class is being exposed to new experiences (mostly through social media). They are willing and keen to participate but their budget doesn’t allow them to spend much. So what operators do is create “affordable” reasons for them to come back. They offer the experience of something new each time, hoping to up-sell once they are here.

As an aside, large theme park projects such as MNC’s “Disneyland” in Lido (2 hours south of Jakarta) are worth keeping an eye on. 

green waterslide at bali-waterbom whitewater west x

Waterbom Bali, slides by Whitewater.

The only market, which can sustain higher ticket prices, is Bali. This is where some of Indonesia’s best attractions are located, such as Waterbom Bali and Bali Safari Park. Here, there is a strong interest for new products to meet the needs of new markets. These markets include China (No1 international arrivals in Bali), India (No2 market at Bali Safari Park, behind Australia) and domestic families. Taman Safari Indonesia will also be opening its Bali Marine Park at the end of 2018. This will focus on Asian tourists and families with kids. There are also rumors of big names looking into the market.

Water parks and animals the best sellers in Indonesia

In the rest of Indonesia the best sellers remain:

1) Water parks. Developers include them as part of their integrated community developments. This is because they are seen as easy and safe investments.

2) Animal parks. The new Faunaland in Ancol, the new Jakarta Aquarium at Central Park and the highly anticipated panda enclosure at Taman Safari Bogor are leading the way.

3) Proven indoor playground concepts. These include KidZania (second location announced in Surabaya), FunWorld, Trans Studio Mini and Miniapolis. These brands are all  flourishing in the numerous malls opening throughout the country.

Active play is also making its debut in the country. It is  targeting a more affluent middle class with the BSD Xtreme Park and Houbii Urban Adventure Park in South Jakarta.

The Ananta Harsa Group

Hans Manansang is Ananta Harsa Group managing director. This is a developer and operator of family attractions. He is also heir of the Taman Safari Group family.

He says, “With our new-generation boutique aquariumJakarta Aquarium – we have realized the strong role played by attractions in the education and skills development of children in Indonesia. The millenials are asking a lot more from us than fun. They want their lives (and that of their kids) to be impacted by their experience with us.”

Furthermore, his group has recently partnered with Camp5 (climbing gym and adventure park operator) and Cartoon Network to bring new “impactful” concepts to Indonesia.

Yayoi Kusama. Spirits Pumpkins Descended into Heavens at Museum Macan indonesia

Yayoi Kusama. Spirits Pumpkins Descended into Heavens at Museum Macan

For trailblazers, Indonesia has been identified by the government as the “next Bali” and offers great opportunities in 10 key destinations . We have also been consulted on attractions projects as part of integrated resorts in Lombok and Lake Toba.

Where are the new opportunities?

Arts cultural attractions and museums are another growth area. These seem to be the domain of the nation’s wealthiest individuals. After the OHD Museum was founded by Dr. Oei Hong Djien in 2012 it was the turn of Pak Haryanto Adikoesoemo of AKR to open his own museum – MACAN – in West Jakarta in 2017. Here, for the first time in Indonesia, there are “instagrammable” pieces from Damien Hirst and Yayoi Kusama.  

We think the best opportunities for new attractions are in Jakarta. There consumer spending per household is 60 per cent higher than other cities. Also Bali, which maintains its position as Asia’s premier resort destination.

In Jakarta we would also recommend small indoor international standard attractions designed for shopping malls. These should have a strong focus either on animals, education, skills development or lifestyle family bonding. In addition, we believe there is room for a signature “cultural” theme park and water park designed for families in Bali. This would be able to complement Waterbom Bali nicely.