THE government has announced that there will be no crowd activity as long as the COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading. The hospitality industry is feeling the impact directly, including in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.

According to the Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) Balikpapan, Sahmal Ruhip said that the ban on the meeting agenda automatically reduces room rent and meeting agenda. Even though it is the main income.

“The effect is extraordinary. Plummeted all of this. Even filling is 0%. Average below 10%. There have been many events to be carried out in the near future in Balikpapan which are canceled. To overcome this, some savings are made,” he said.

He added, based on reports from the Indonesian Restaurant Association (PHRI), several hotels had laid off employees to reduce the spread of COVID-19. PHRI Balikpapan has also sent a letter to the Mayor of Balikpapan. It asks that there be stimulation of tax relaxation. The main thing is that the 10 percent hotel tax will be phased out starting next month.

“Also for example the electricity tax if it can be reduced. Then also reschedule the debt at the bank. We want the essence to be marketed until the virus is finished,” Sahmal explained. [ special]