The Jakarta Post
Air transportation reportedly accounts for 30 to 40 percent of an individual's total travel spending. (Shutterstock/File)
Baggage fees recently announced by low-cost Indonesian carriers such as Lion Air and Citilink would potentially significantly lower the performance of the tourism sector, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Wednesday.
"[The fees] will definitely decrease tourism, as simple as that; [it's called] price elasticity -- the high price will lower the demand; it's a definite thing," said Arief in Jakarta as quoted by Antara.
Arief said he was disappointed that low-cost carriers would start charging baggage fees as they directly affected the tourism sector.
"The decline [caused by the policy] has been quite drastic. [Flights] from Riau, for example, had dropped by 40 percent. [Such an impact] should be understood."
Arief proposed that the fees be charged more carefully.
"I propose that if [the fee] is to be increased by a certain percentage, it shouldn't be [implemented] hastily because of elasticity."
The decreasing number of passengers, he said, would also affect the airlines directly and they "would face the risk of lower demand".
The cost of air transportation reportedly makes up 30 to 40 percent of an individual's total travel spending.
If the cost of flights increases, the minister said, travelers "will potentially cancel their trips".
However Arief said that he would not revise the target for tourist arrivals this year despite the aforementioned challenge. "I do not dare to correct the target."
Rules for baggage services are included in the Transportation Ministerial Regulation No. 185/2015 on economy class passenger service standards for scheduled domestic commercial air transportation. According to article 22C, low-cost carriers are allowed to apply baggage fees.
Citilink, for instance, announced it would start charging baggage fees of Rp 9,000 (less than US$1) to Rp 35,000 per kilogram on Feb. 8. (kes)
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