Indonesia looks to boost domestic tourism amid coronavirus outbreak

Indonesia looks to boost domestic tourism amid coronavirus outbreak

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN): Indonesia, which expects to lose an estimated US$4 mil (RM16mil) as a result of flight cancellations to and from mainland China amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, is focusing on attracting domestic tourists to popular destinations across Indonesia.

“We still need to further assess [the possible losses]. But as we know, there are 2 million Chinese tourists in the country every year, each of whom spend an average of US$1,400. It means we’ll probably lose about US$4 million, ” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama said after a private meeting at the Bogor Presidential Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday (Feb 4).

To recoup the losses, he said the ministry planned to lobby a number of airlines to offer flight packages to domestic destinations.

“I, along with Transportation Minister [Budi Karya Sumadi], will discuss the matter with about 30 airlines that are probably able to reroute to domestic destinations and, therefore, support local tourism, ” Wishnutama said.

He said the government would entice domestic tourists to visit Bali, among other regions, as the island had already begun to report declining foreign tourist arrivals from China after the government decided to halt all flights to and from the East Asian country on Wednesday at midnight due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have received reports of vacant rooms at otherwise popular hotels in Bali. However, we have yet to know [the full extent of the impact], ” Wishnutama added. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network