JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) said on Wednesday (Feb 9) it expected tourism to rebound in the second quarter of this year, as fresh curbs were weighing on the industry in the first quarter.

The PHRI’s statement comes after the government again raised the public activity restrictions (PPKM) to level 3 on Monday for the tourist destinations of Greater Jakarta, Greater Bandung, Yogyakarta and Bali, in an attempt to curtail a third wave of Covid-19.

PHRI chair Hariyadi Sukamdani said the industry forecast rested on government expectations that the Covid-19 curve would flatten in March and the PPKM could be eased to level 1 in April.

“It is likely that economic conditions will improve in the second quarter. So for tourism, we expect the same in the second quarter,” Hariyadi said on the sidelines of the association’s national working meeting in Padang, West Sumatra.

He added that hotel occupancy was expected to hover between 25 and 30 per cent in the first quarter and then rise to between 40 and 50 per cent in the second quarter.

Indonesia has laid down plans to revive tourism this year by shortening the quarantine period for international arrivals and reopening Bali to direct international flights. Airlines have set plans accordingly.

However, the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of Covid-19 has disrupted recovery plans as some countries tightened travel restrictions, disrupting international travel.

The PHRI also appealed for policy support to alleviate its members’ debts, after the Financial Services Authority (OJK) extended its loan restructuring programme to March 2023.

Policy suggestions included lowering interest rates and facilitating debt-for-equity swaps.

“We suggested these in case 2023 sees a very big gap between cash flow and debt at companies,” said Hariyadi.

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data from Feb 2 show that foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia last year had dropped 61.57 per cent annually to 1.56 million individuals because of restrictions to international travel.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno and Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto were in attendance at the PHRI national meeting.


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