Kelud Ashes Cause Yogyakarta Tourism to Decline  

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  • Suasana jalan Malioboro tertutup abu vulkanik gunung Kelud, Yogyakarta (14/2/2014). TEMPO/Suryo Wibowo

    Suasana jalan Malioboro tertutup abu vulkanik gunung Kelud, Yogyakarta (14/2/2014). TEMPO/Suryo Wibowo

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Volcanic ashes from Mount Kelud eruption on Thursday that has covered Yogyakarta since Friday has caused the city's tourism to decline.

    Hotels and inns at Merapi Mount slopes have only a few customers as 80 percent of reservations have been canceled. "Most customers only stay for a short time," said Heribertus Indiantara, chief of the Kaliurang Hospitality Association on Monday.

    Around 250 hotels and inns at Merapi slopes were covered with ash from Mount Kelud and hotel employers have worked hard to clean them.

    However, a lot of guests canceled their room reservations, automatically reducing occupancy rate and participants in lava tour around Merapi slopes. Hundreds of tour groups also canceled their visits due to the closure of Adisutjipto Airport.

    Deddy Pranowo Eryono, secretary of Yogyakarta Hotels and Restaurants Association, said the ash has slowed down tourism business as hundreds of people canceled their trips to this city due to the closure of the airport for a few days.

    The hotel occupancy rate has also dwindled 80 percent. "The key is in the airport. When the airport is reopened, hotels will regain their customers," Deddy said.

    The hotels losses in Yogyakarta totals up to Rp22 billion. Tourists have canceled their trips until March and April.

    MUH SYAIFULLAH