The number of foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia dropped by 87.44 percent in April 2020 compared to the number of visits in April 2019, said head of statistic bureau today. - Photo by Antara

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The number of foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia dropped by 87.44 percent in April 2020 compared to the number of visits in April 2019, said head of statistic bureau today. When compared to March, the numbers also plunged by 66.02 percent.

Head of the agency, Suhariyanto reported, during January – April, the number of visitors reached 2.77 million tourists or down 45.01 percent compared to the same period in 2019, which totaled 5.03 million visits. Room Occupancy Rate recorded 12.67 percent or down 41.23 points compared to the April 2019, which was recorded at 53.90 percent and decreased by 19.57 points compared to previous month.

But the average length of stay of foreign and Indonesian guests at star hotels increased 0.10 points to 1.93 days compared to the situation in April 2019. Last month, minister of tourism and creative economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio has revised down the foreign tourists arrival in Indonesia from 16 million to five million visitors amid the spread of COVID-19.

His office also sliced this year’ foreign revenues targets more than half from last year realization of US$20 billion. He stated, “This year maybe could be about half or more than half lost. We also estimated that the tourists number drops from 16 million tourists to around 5 million visitors.”

At the limited meeting in April, President Joko Widodo believed that Indonesian tourism will rise again in 2021 with the calculation the epidemic stop at the end of the year. To that, he urged the officials prepares to get advantage from the rise of the tourism sector in 2021 after the pandemic.

“Next year there will be a boom in the field of tourism. Everyone wants to get out and everyone wants to enjoy the beauty of Indonesia,” he told the ministers.

He also asked his staff to prepare economic stimulus for businesses in the tourism sector and the creative economy. The President believes that this must be really done so that they can survive and not make layoffs (termination of employment) on a large scale.

“We know the most severe impact is felt and first felt because COVID-19 is the world tourism, including hotels, restaurants, handicraft goods, and other businesses,” the head of state said at the limited meeting.

Last February, the government has rolled out a Rp10.3 trillion ($686.67 million) stimulus package in an effort to cushion the blow of the virus outbreak on its economy. The stimulus is channeled to a number of economic sectors affected by the virus and ensures that people’ purchasing power is maintained.

Deputy finance minister, Suahasil Nazara, said, this fiscal stimulus aims to ensure Indonesia’ economic growth. The stimulus in the tourism sector, for example, is expected to balance the potential for decline due to the significant reduction in the number of foreign tourists in this year.

The stimulus is in the form of discounted airline ticket prices for 10 major tourist destinations, incentives for airlines and travel agents that bring tourists, to the policy of hotel and restaurant tax-free schemes for a certain period in these 10 tourist destinations.

“So we hope that economic activity does not go down, the economy continues to spin like hotels can still operate, airlines can also continue to operate and so that we hope it can replace the potential for economic decline that impacted Indonesia,” he stated.

US$1: Rp15,000

Written by Staff Editor, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com