A leading expert in national tourism development is calling on the government to provide numerous supports to the ailing travel sector.
Diyak Mulhela, the Director of the Association for the Development of Tourism Information (LEPITA), told Bisnis.com: "At this time every country is looking for appropriate ways to stimulate (their economies) as a way of handling the global financial crisis. Those countries dependent on exports are the worst affected. Expectations are now focused on Indonesian tourism, necessitating the application of numerous instruments and promotional activities."
Diyak sees travel and tourism as a "necessity of life" in the developed world, citing five distinct options, one of which will be selected by tourists in the midst of the current financial crisis:
1. Tourists will delay their travel plans.
2. Tourists will shorten the amount of time they spend on holiday.
3. Tourists will maintain their holiday plans unchanged.
4. Tourists will change their destination to a location nearer to home (i.e. short-haul holidays).
5. Tourists will limit their holiday to home-country destinations.
Looking at the status of tourism in Indonesia and the continuing flow of tourists to Bali, Diyak says, "this means that the sector of the economy least affected by the global financial crisis is tourism; tourism that attracts international visitors is (in fact) an export producing foreign exchange."
In 2009 the government is targeting 255 million domestic tourist spending some Rp. 90 trillion (US$7.6 billion).
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