Most of the foreign athletes that are in Jakarta for the 2018 Asian Games prefer to go shopping rather than join tours into Indonesia’s history.
“Mostly they want to shop for souvenirs,” Anita Novianti from the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency told tempo.co. She added that the Grand Indonesia mall in Central Jakarta was the favorite spot. “We offered them other shopping places as well, such as Smesco and Senayan City, but they prefer Grand Indonesia,” said Anita, who organizes shopping tours for the visitors.
Archer Umedzhon Khudoyarov from Tajikistan, for one, said he had gone to Grand Indonesia with fellow athletes on a double-decker bus provided by the Jakarta administration. “This is my first time traveling to Indonesia, and I’d like to see the city center,” Khudoyarov said, adding that he was looking for unique souvenirs for his family.
One of the tour guides from the agency, Ganjar Nugraha, shared Anita’s experience. He said the wide variety of souvenirs available at Grand Indonesia were appealing for the athletes, as were the mall’s long operational hours.