Tourism -sluggish; Government gives away discount airplane tickets

16
Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said giving government incentives in the form of discounted airplane tickets could be a solution to boost the domestic tourism industry. The reason is that as long as the coronavirus outbreak has not been resolved, the number of foreign tourists, mainly from China visiting Indonesia, will decrease. At its peak, the number of tourists from China to Indonesia reached 2 million visitors per month.

Providing incentives in the form of a 50 percent discount on airline tickets to these 10 destinations is planned to last for only three months, starting in March-May. However, these incentives may continue. “We shall provide the opportunity for three months. Later we will see if the situation recovers. If we have not recovered, we consider extending it,” he said in Jakarta, Wednesday (26/2/2020).

The 10 tourist destinations that are to be boosted include, Batam, Denpasar, Yogyakarta, Labuan Bajo, Lombok, Malang, Manado, Silangit, Tanjung Pinang and Tanjung Pandan.

It is expected that the provision of such incentives can encourage a 25 percent increase in flights for domestic tourists. “About 25 percent of the seating capacity. If there are slots, we add more slots,” he said.

Before the coronavirus became epidemic, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore had the most flights on tourist trips to Indonesia. Now, tourists coming from these three countries are halted, in the effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Today the Ministry of Transportation plans to invite the airlines to discuss the incentives provided as well as flight destinations for the 10 tourist destinations. “Today we gather all the airlines so that they focus. I think they (the airlines) have connectivity to these cities,” he said.

The government is to provide incentives of 30 percent to the airlines and passengers. The remainder of the incentives came from PT Pertamina (Persero), Angkasa Pura I and II, and Airnav. “The incentives from the government are 30 percent, Pertamina, through aviation fuel, amounts to 15 percent, and 5 percent is from AP I, AP II and Airnav. All move to provide initiatives to reduce the problem of lack of foreign tourists in the 10 cities,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the losses suffered by the tourism sector due to the outbreak of the coronavirus reached 500 million US dollars or equivalent to IDR 7 trillion. “Data from BI, the tourism sector loses 500 million US dollars per month,” he said in Jakarta, Tuesday (25/2/2020).

Luhut mentioned that foreign tourists from China who visit Indonesia reached 2 million; in fact, the value of their foreign exchange is quite significant for Indonesia. Luhut also mentioned the presence of foreign tourists from China globally reached 173 million people. The figure is equivalent to 270 billion US dollars or IDR 3,753 trillion. “Globally, it is approximately equal to 270 billion US dollars. Indonesia only gets 2 billion,” he said.

According to Luhut, the presence of tourists has had a tremendous positive impact on micro, small and medium businesses. “The impact on these tourists on small enterprises is extraordinary,” he said. (des)