A week after the bomb blasts at two of Jakarta's five-star hotels, Indonesia's tourism industry and business sector is beginning to feel the impact of the terror attack
The simultaneous suicide attacks on two of Jakarta's most exclusive hotels on July 17, killed nine and injured 50.
Some hotels in Bali, Indonesia's tourist resort island, have reported cancellations of foreign tourist arrivals while the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) for East Java said that Singaporean and Malaysian tourists have cancelled scheduled trips.
"Although some hotels in Bali had reported cancellations of foreign tourist arrivals, this could not yet be taken as reflecting the whole situation in the industry," Antara news agency cited ASITA chairman Ben Sukma as saying.
He said he could not as yet measure the negative impact of the bombings at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton but believed the terror attacks would not have as big an impact on the tourism industry as that of the Bali bombings in 2002 when foreign tourist visits dropped by up to 70 percent.
The Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) has said hotels' occupancy rates have also dropped.
Certain countries are reported to have advised their citizens to avoid staying at luxury hotels.
"We have to be aware of a fact which could create a small problem. Foreign chief executive officers are banned by their governments to go and stay at hotels, particularly hotels owned by United States companies," Gobel, chief commissioner of PT Panasonic Gobel Indonesia, said.
Executive Director of PHRI, Carla Parengkuan said that room occupancy rates of star-rated hotels in Jakarta may decline 30 percent.
She also said the twin bombing attacks at the two luxury hotels may prompt certain countries to issue a travel warning to their citizens to visit Indonesia, at least for some time to come, like what the Australian government had done.
"This would do a great deal of harm to Indonesia's tourism industry," she added.
There is no indication that the bombings, which came after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono decisively won the presidential elections on July 7, will have any impact on the political stability of Indonesia.
Bernama, Bomb Terror Begins To Impact On Indonesia's Tourism, 25 July 2009, http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsworld.php?id=428029
Asia Sentinel, Indonesia's Jihadi Threat Evolves , 26 July 2009, http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1978&I...