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Jakarta Post

Govt to pay Rp 72 billion to influencers to boost tourism amid coronavirus outbreak 

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 26, 2020   /   10:51 am
Govt to pay Rp 72 billion to influencers to boost tourism amid coronavirus outbreakĀ  Tourists walk to a pick-up point on Sanur Beach, Denpasar after their return from Nusa Penida Island in Bali on Monday. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

The government is building up strategy to shield the tourist industry from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, including by allocating as much as Rp 72 billion (US$5.2 million) to pay influencers to promote the country. 

Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said paying influencers was among initiatives to boost demand in the tourist industry.

“The government is allocating an additional Rp 298.5 billion to provide incentives for foreign tourists,” he told reporters on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

”As much as Rp 98.5 billion will go to airlines and travel agencies to give discounts or other kinds of incentives. Around Rp 103 billion will go to the promotion budget and Rp 25 billion will be allocated for tourism activities and as much as Rp 72 billion will go to influencers,”

The global COVID-19 outbreak has depressed the tourist industry, with Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan recently saying that the industry had lost an estimated US$ 500 million due to the tourists' fears over the coronavirus.

Airlangga said the government would also provide incentives for domestic tourists.

“The government will give 30 percent discounts for 10 tourist destinations,” Airlangga said, adding that the discount would be enjoyed in March, April, and May. “If the program succeeds, it may be extended.”

State-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina will also provide discounts for aviation fuel during the same time period, amounting to Rp 265.5 billion in value, he said.

The government will also encourage people to visit 10 tourist destinations -  Toba Lake regency in North Sumatra, Yogyakarta, Malang in East Java, Manado in North Sulawesi, Bali, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Bangka Belitung, and Batam and Bintan in the Riau Islands - by waiving hotel and restaurant taxes.

“In the future, the government will prepare other incentives that will follow the development of the coronavirus and its impacts on the economy in early or late April,” said Airlangga. (gis)