While people told to spend holidays at home, more foreign tourists expected

News Desk

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Fri, September 7, 2018  /  05:21 pm

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.(JP/Anton Hermansyah)

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has called on Indonesians to delay overseas holidays to help the government save the foreign exchange, while at the same time he said the ministry was working to increase tourist arrivals.

“We hope the people will spend their holidays in this country,” said Arief in Jakarta on Friday as quoted by Antara news agency.

He said tourism was the sector expected to boost economic performance amid strong external pressure and the expanding current account deficit (CAD), which was currently at 3 percent of GDP.

Currently, the government and Bank Indonesia (BI) have been working to help the rupiah, which has been weakening against the United States dollar. The central bank had increased its seven-day reserve repo rate ( 7DRR ) to 5.5 percent and carried out market intervention to build investors' trust in the country’s monetary markets.

Meanwhile, the government introduced several policies to help the CAD improve, like introducing mandatory usage of 20 percent blended biodiesel ( B20 ) and imposing higher import taxes to curb imports.

Arief expressed hope the tourism sector would provide solutions in addition to the government program to boost exports; to curb imports and to optimize local resources.

“It is time for us to explore Indonesia to improve nationalism so that we will not spend too many dollars abroad,” he said.

He said the ministry was also trying to increase foreign tourist arrivals through various promotions. (bbn)