The Jakarta Post
Locals use a number of boats to join the Lomban procession off Kartini Beach in Jepara, Central Java. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
Jepara is set to eliminate tourism retribution in several destinations run by the administration, such as Bandengan Beach, Kartini Beach and Portuguese Fort, in 2019.
“We are still discussing the plan; we’re currently working on the legal matter, which includes approval from the Regional Legislative Councils [DPRD]," said Jepara Cultural and Tourism Agency head Deni Hendarko. "This policy was initiated by our regent and deputy regent after much consideration. Of course it will lead to a decrease in our locally generated income [PAD], but we can get another income from other sectors.”
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The policy is estimated to decrease the regency's PAD by up to Rp 3.6 billion (US$270,352) per year.
“We want to push the number of tourist visit [to Jepara]. When there are more tourists coming, other sectors will improve as well. Sure the potential lost of PAD is there but it will be covered by the tax income from other sectors, such as restaurants and hotels,” he added.
Moreover, Deni says the increase of tourist visit will encourage economic equality in Jepara, especially related to UMKM (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya reportedly approved the new policy. “You can earn your [PAD] from food, drinks, tour packages and other facilities that are not hotel rooms or other services; it’s called non-operating income. A business always takes profit from operating and non-operating incomes,” he said. (kes)