TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Travel agents are predicted to sustain a crisis due to the coronavirus outbreak that began in January 2020. Some of them are even forced to offer unpaid leave to their employees as they struggle to cover their operational costs.
Indonesian Travel Agent Association (Astindo) sec-gen Pauline Suharno said relatively there was no income for the travel industry in February. She said 20 major travel agents were coerced to offer unpaid leave to their employees.
“Relatively there was no income in February, while the fixed costs of operations remain. They thought they could sell other destinations aside from China, but then the virus spreads,” she said on Friday, March 6, 2020.
She explained this condition had rendered the government’s incentives for the tourism industry—in the form of airfare and hotel tax discounts--ineffective as people were refraining from traveling due to the coronavirus.
“And, with all respect, Indonesia is somewhat still unhygienic, so people are worried. Ticketing, outbounds, inbounds and pilgrimage travels have now felt the impact.”
She further said that until now the government had yet to have the initiative to furnish direct assistance to the travel industry like Malaysian, Singaporean and Hong Kong governments did.
She explained the governments of the three countries had provided incentives in the form of tax discounts, lower credit interest and basic electricity rates, cash assistance, capital loan facilities and office rent discounts.
Bisnis.com | Galuh Kurnia Ramadhani (Intern Translator)