YOGYAKARTA City Government will conduct studies with various parties including the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) to prepare regulations to address the proliferation of virtual hotel businesses, as well as to provide protection to consumers.

According to Yogyakarta’s Mayor, Haryadi Suyuti said we would prepare regulations. The aim is to protect consumers. This is important, PHRI Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY) has provided input on hotel business conditions in Yogyakarta, including business competition between hotels including virtual hotels that utilize various buildings that were not originally intended for hotel businesses.

Therefore, he continued, the main regulation that will be applied is through building permits (IMB) so that the building utilization in accordance with the requested permit, does not necessarily make lodging for hotel business.

“In addition to regulations for virtual hotels, Haryadi also said that he would supervise hotel businesses in Yogyakarta so that each hotel operates according to the category of hotel owned. 4 or 5 star hotels don’t take the three star hotel market down. Business competition must be carried out in a healthy manner,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of DPD PHRI DIY Deddy Pranawa Eryana said that we did not yet know for sure the number of virtual hotels operating in the city of Yogyakarta, but there were four large operators managing the virtual hotel. All of them are based abroad.

“Many of these virtual hotels utilize lodgings as their place of business. Of course, this is actually detrimental to consumers. Sometimes, the rental price difference is very high and even more expensive than a hotel,” he added.

Deddy gave an example, the price offered by virtual hotels during “low season” can be very cheap at Rp90,000 but during “peak season” it could reach more than Rp1 million. We judge, the tariff is determined by a long distance. When demand is high, they apply very high tariffs.

He mentioned that the operational system carried out by the virtual hotel has the potential to harm consumers because there is no standardization of services that consumers should receive.

“There is a business certification agency that standardizes hotel operations so that the services provided are according to standards. Therefore, regulations on the operation of this virtual hotel are very important to be immediately stipulated so that virtual hotel businesses also contribute to paying taxes to local governments for development needs,” he concluded.

If it operates like this, he continued they may not pay taxes in accordance with the stipulated provisions. The implementation of regulations for virtual hotels can be started from the IMB (owned by buildings used for virtual hotel businesses. Building permits must be suitable first, will partner with virtual hotel businesses to enter as PHRI members.

By becoming a member of PHRI, said Deddy, the data on the number of tourist visits including potential local taxes from hotels can be calculated more precisely. [antaranews/photo special]