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Calls Mount for Tourism Supports

State Ministry Supports Calls for Scheme of Supports and Relief for Damaged Tourism Sector.

(7/14/2003) The State Ministry for State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) has voiced its support for proposals calling for relief measures and incentive packages to be extended to national travel agencies and hotels.

Mr. Suyitno Afffandi, the Assistant Deputy for Industry and Tourism at the BUMN, said recently that such support is needed, especially in the wake of the Bali Bombing and the worldwide SARS panic. Speaking to the Indonesian-language daily Bisnis Indonesia, Mr. Affandi said that "although the BUMN has no current policy to assist the tourism sector, we do fully support the Minister for Culture and Tourism in his calls for the Government to consider the difficulties now confronted by the National tourism industry." He went on to suggest that BUMN and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism could jointly construct a special program for discussion at the National Cabinet level and final presentation to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

According to Bisnis Indonesia, the Minister of Culture and Tourism confirmed that his office was studying a relief package for the tourism sector for eventual discussion with the Department of Finance and others. According to Culture and Tourism Minister, I Gede Ardika, "We cannot yet confirm whether or nor the incentives requested by the tourism industry can be granted. The problem will be discussed with the departments concerned, including the Department of Finance."

IAPINDO: Need for a Win/Win Solution

Meanwhile, Arman R. Iskandar the Chairman of the Hotel Expert Association (IAPINDO), has called on the Government to find a win/win solution for both the Government and the tourism sector. "Because of the immensity of the problem, the difficulties facing the industry must be dealt with. The Government needs to grant the incentives requested, including tax payment delays and tax relief, restructuring of outstanding loans, granting credits, and undertaking a promotional program," according to Mr. Iskandar.

PHRI

Expressing a similar sentiment was Ms. Carla Parengkuan, the Executive Director of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant and Hotel Association (PHRI), who said, "the hotel industry desperately needs payment supports for renovations and to improve training schemes. In this regard loans need to be restructured and soft credits provided to improve service standards and product delivery."

ASITA

Dewa Rai Budiasa the Chairman of the Jakarta branch of the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) said, "that in addition to incentives such as restructuring existing loans and tax relief a viable system of law, security, and tourism promotion is badly needed by national travel agencies."