TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The uptrend in airline tickets is hitting the domestic tourism industry hard. According to the Indonesian Travel Agents Association (ASITA), Indonesian tourists prefer to travel abroad.
The situation began after the airfares for domestic routes soared at the end of 2018.
"I received complaints about how tickets between Jakarta and Bali are more expensive than tickets to Kuala Lumpur," ASITA chairwoman Nunung Rusmiati told Tempo in Jakarta, Monday, April 8.
According to Nunung, the price difference is quite significant. She pointed out at the price for flights from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur by full-service airline, which is around Rp2.5 million round-trip. Meanwhile, round-trip flights between Jakarta to Bali on a full service carrier is roughly Rp4.5 million, almost twice the Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur fare.
ASITA's first deputy chair Budijanto Ardiansyah said there has been some 30% decline in domestic tourists' traffic, and 20 percent of those that stopped traveling domestically by air now prefer to travel overseas.
"This is because of cheaper prices for flying routes with similar distances," he said.
Budijanto hopes the situation will not continue, and he asked airlines to reconsider their current fares.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that the decline in domestic travels will persist if airlines are too stubborn to lower their ticket prices back to the original standards. Arief suggested airlines provide varying prices for varying services.