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JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian government is eager to grab potential redirection of tourists from Singapore following the new regulation of Changi Airport Operator’s regulation to raise passenger service charge by the 1st of July this year.

According to the Transport Ministry and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, traveler flying out of Changi Airport will have to pay up to S$13.30 more from July 1 with an increase in passenger fees and a new levy to fund a major expansion for the airport, including the building of Terminal 5.

The bulk of the charge comes from a new Airport Development Levy to fund the expansion project. For passengers who begin their trips from Changi Airport, they will pay a levy of S$10.80.

Indonesia Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi sees this regulation as positive sentiment for Indonesia tourism activity. He sees the additional surcharge will be costly for Indonesian tourists and this will make them to re-consider domestic destination instead of international flight.

“This can reduce the number of Indonesian tourists going to Singapore,” he said on Tuesday (6/3).

Indonesia is the biggest contributor to Singapore’s tourism. In 2016, about 2.89 million Indonesians visited Singapore or about 17.7 per cent of the country’s 16.4 million total foreign tourist arrivals, according Singapore Tourism Board.

The number of tourists from Indonesia grew by 6 per cent, which was categorized as a sharp jump from the 10 per cent decline in 2015, the statement says.

Changi Airport handled 5.3 million passengers in January this year, a 0.9 per cent increase from the same period in 2017, according to the Changi Airport Group.

The Jakarta-Singapore flight route is the third busiest route in the world based on AOG, a travel intelligence company based in the United Kingdom.

In 2017 there are 26,872 flights on the route with airlines serving among others Jetstar Asia, PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk (IDX: GIAA), Batik Air, Lion Air, AirAsia Indonesia, Singapore Airlines and Scoot.

AirAsia Indonesia also began operating daily to Padang – the first new city link for Changi last year, as well as daily services connecting Singapore and Medan.