Hotel Occupancy Rate Drops in Palembang due to Haze

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  • Kabut asap kiriman dari 204 titik api di Sumatra. ANTARA/Iggoy el Fitra

    Kabut asap kiriman dari 204 titik api di Sumatra. ANTARA/Iggoy el Fitra

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Hotel occupancy rate in Palembang, South Sumatra, has slumped due to haze covering the region from forest and land fire.  Based on the datas from the Indonesian Association of Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI), hotel occupancy rate has experienced a decline about 15 to 30 people caused by haze that have lasted for a month.

    “Community activities including flights have been hampered,” PHRI South Sumatra Chairman Herlan Aspiudin sain in Palembang on Sunday, Sept 13.

    Herlan explained that hotel occupancy rate have dropped because government and private agencies have reduced activities in hotels and canceled flights.  Hotel guests usually come from government and private agencies that holds meetings, trainings, seminars and exhibitions. “There are hardly any of those activities now,” he said.

    In order to increase the number of guests, several hotel owners from PHRI South Sumatra cooperates with government and private agencies to take advantage of hotel and restaurant facilities in holding activities with special rates.

    Based on the datas from the National Disaster Management Agency, forest arson have occurred in South Sumatra, Riau, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.  However, the majority of hotspots occur in South Sumatra.  On Saturday morning, the National Disaster Management Agency have recorded hundreds of hotspots spread throughout the region.

    The government has formed a Smoke Emergency Task Force to overcome the disaster.  President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has requested ministers and head of agencies related to instruct four matters.  First, the armed forces should extinguish the fire with water bombing. Second, law enforcers and units from the Environment Ministry and Interior Ministry are obliged to take legal actions toward forest arsonists.

    Third, the President have instructed to handle health issues due to numerous residents that have been attacked by an upper respiratory tract infection.  Lastly, the Health Ministry requested its staffs to conduct socialization on the danger of smoke disaster and its affect on health.