INDONESIA’S Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio said the potential loss in the tourism sector due to the corona virus attack reached US$2.8 billion or IDR38.2 trillion.

“Because this is still moving, we can know how much loss if the corona has stopped, if we average one year from China alone with two million tourists, we have US$2.8 billion in losses, for example,” Wishnutama said.

This figure, he continued, if calculated from the number of Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia for one year, averaged two million foreign tourists.

“So, this is not as simple as measuring it when everything is finished, but we know that there are two million tourists in China. It means that if you translate into foreign exchange of US$2.8 billion, you just have to calculate how long the virus will last,” he said.

The potential loss, Wishnutama explained, because in the period from February to March, tourists are usually ordering a plane or hotel (booking period) to prepare for summer vacation.

“If it’s February to March this is the booking period. Now tourists are ordering transportation and hotels for the summer holidays. It will also have an impact, if for example the corona virus is finished in April, it will impact the summer holidays,” he added.

However, he continued, the exact number of losses can be calculated after the impact of the corona virus is finished, but after that it also still has side effects.

“Not to mention other impacts or impacts after the virus is finished and there is also a downward trend of people’s desire to travel,” he said.

He added, airports that became international hubs, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, were also quiet. And Singapore and Hong Kong hubs, although not from China, have a quiet trend now. That also has an impact.

Based on data from the Ministry of Tourism, the contribution of Chinese foreign tourist visits is among the highest, namely two million foreign tourists with a total expenditure of US$14,000 per visit or IDR192 million.

Meanwhile, the target of foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector is planned to reach US$21 billion by 2020 or greater than US$1 billion from the realization of 2019 of US$20 billion or IDR275 trillion. [antaranews/photo traveltext]