The Jakarta Post
Serenity now: A breathtaking view of Mount Tangkuban Perahu from the Bale Restaurant in West Java. (JP/Arya Dipa)
The recent long weekend, which centered around Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (maulid) on Thursday and was combined with collective leave days from Wednesday through Sunday, was among the most anticipated holidays of this year.
Many tourism stakeholders had made preparations to welcome more visitors, but not all managed to achieve the expected numbers.
Antaranews.com reported that the number of tourists visiting recreational spots in Lembang, Bandung, West Java, was still below target.
Some recreational spots in the area expected to see an increase up to 45 percent from normal days but were sorely disappointed.
Lembang Park and Zoo, for example, was ready to welcome 5,000 visitors or 50 percent of its normal capacity, but received around 3,500, said operational manager Iwan Susanto.
Meanwhile, Ruslan Kaban, operational director of PT Graha Rani Putra Persada, which manages the Tangkuban Perahu Natural Tourism Park (TWA), shared a similar experience, saying that the park had more visitors when it first reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Itania Setiati, public relations of Perisa Group, which manages Farmhouse, Floating Market and the Great Asia Africa recreational spots, shared several reasons for the low numbers.
She attributed them to the rainy season, transitional large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and the government call for people to stay home during the long weekend.
When Lembang did not meet the expected numbers, Banyuwangi in East Java experienced the opposite.
Banyuwangi Culture and Tourism Agency recorded 8,000 people visiting tourist spots in the area on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, on Thursday, the number reached 14,000 visitors.
Hotels in Banyuwangi also welcomed more guests during the long weekend.
Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) Banyuwangi head Zaenal Muttaqin said the hospitality industry had seen a spike in guests since Wednesday.
Aston Hotel’s occupancy rate, for example, reached 97 percent from Wednesday to Friday, its highest since the pandemic started, he said.
“The occupancy rates of other hotels were between 70 and 90 percent.”
Bali also saw an increase in visitors during the long weekend. According to state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I Bali branch, around 4,900 passengers arrived at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport on Oct. 25. The number rose to 5,000 and then to 6,000 passengers on Oct. 26 and 27.
The average number of daily passengers arriving at Ngurah Rai airport was between 3,000 and 3,500. (jes)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.
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