TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Tourism Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio estimated that the coronavirus crisis would cause a great toll on the tourism industry, especially after the issuance of the travel warning and the declining tourist number from China.
Wishnutama calculated that the foreign exchange losses would reach US$4 billion or Rp54.8 trillion (with a rate of Rp13.722 per US dollar).
He also predicted that it would affect the number of tourist visits from other countries that confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus infection. Therefore, the minister claimed he would revise this year’s target of revenue from the tourism sector.
“This is a difficult time. Even if the crisis lasts for three to four months, the impact will be long up to seven to eight months,” Wishnutama told Tempo on Wednesday, February 5.
The Tourism Ministry recorded that the number of Chinese tourist visits to Indonesia was the second highest after Malaysia’s, reaching 2 million tourists with total spending of US$14.000 or around Rp192 million per visit.
To recoup the losses, the ministry was striving to boost domestic tourism, for example, by increasing the flight frequency to favorite destination routes along with the Transportation Ministry and several airlines.
“We have talked with Garuda Indonesia to seek the possibility to open new routes or add new domestic flights since they have many idle aircraft,” Wishnutama said.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA