President Joko "Jokowi” Widodo (in front of the second from left) was seen while visiting Kuta beach, Bali, on 22/12/2017, with Tourism Minister Arief Yahya (in front of first from left). (Photo: from press release).

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (in front of the second from left) was seen while visiting Kuta beach, Bali, on 22/12/2017, with Tourism Minister Arief Yahya (in front of first from left). (Photo: from press release).

Jakarta, (ITN-IndonesiaTouristNews): Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya recently invites the Indonesian tourism industry to jointly work to create tour & travel packages together, to be called as Hot Deals packages for Bali. The proposed program must be quickly executed and promoted for the periode until March 2018. The package can be aimed at the 2018 Lunar holidays season to achieve in selling optimally. The Tourism MInistry is committed to budgeting Rp 100 billion (about USD 7.4 million) for the program’s promotion during the proposed three months periode. All that is done in order to carry out the Bali tourism recovery.

Minister Arief Yahya also affirmed that Indonesian government and tourism industry are ready with mitigation plan in case of situation such as closing of Ngurah Rai airport operation in Bali.

In other words, the Government affirmed that Bali is generally normal, tourism activity in “paradise Bali” is running normally, even if there is an abnormal situation or crisis occur due to eruption, it may apply at any time in the region of radius of 6-10 KM only from the peak of Mount Agung. Furthermore, in the event of a volcanic ash disruption resulting in Ngurah Rai Airport to be closed, such “irregularities” or “crises” that will occur will be in the form of temporarily airport operational closure.

As understood, the eruption of Mount Agung in late November 2017 impacted the closure of I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali and Lombok International Airport. On 26-28 November 2017 there were recorded 392 domestic and international flights canceled. Nine countries issued Travel Advisory or Travel Warning, namely United States, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Ireland, China, Malaysia, India and England.

The natural disaster at the end part of this year caused Indonesia to lose some 850,000 foreign tourists. The arrival number of foreign tourists in November and December 2017 is estimated at 1.1 million and 1.2 million. The total arrival of foreign tourists this year is therefore estimated to be about 13.9 million or 92.8% of the target of 15 million foreign visitors.

Foreign exchange losses by the end of this year are estimated at Rp 9 trillion (assuming conservative numbers estimate of the average number of tourists per day by 15,000 by the end of 2017). Tourism business have been temporarily sluggish.

Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs (Kemenkomar) sent a letter to the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday (20/12), stated the status of Bali is Normal, safe to conduct tourism activities and may be visited by tourists. There is also stated that Status of Level IV of Mount Agung only applies to the area in the radius of 6-10 kilometers from the center of eruption. The area of direct impact is only 2% of total Bali and the rest is declared safe.

President Joko Widodo visited Kuta beach, Bali, Friday (22/12) afternoon. In his vlog, the President appeared with a number of tourists, where the President said without hesitation, “” Bali is safe, we see everything is safe.”

President Jokowi’s presence conveys a message to the world that conditions on the island of Bali are completely normal. And the airport has reopened.

Meanwhile the pattern of Hot Deals package itself as mentioned above, has been applied by Tourism Ministry with the industry  and succeeded in attracting more tourists to the border tourism destination of Kepri (Riau Islands) including Batam-Bintan destinations.***