TOURISM service business actors in Yogyakarta consider that the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2023 event which is centered in Yogyakarta 2-5 February 2023 needs to be a momentum for expanding international flight routes to or from Yogyakarta.

It is hoped that the ATF event which will be attended by delegations from various countries, both ASEAN and non-ASEAN representatives, is expected to be followed by the expansion of international flight routes through Yogyakarta International Airport or YIA Airport. “This ATF event has great potential to pave the way for foreign tourist visits, unfortunately only a few airlines have opened direct flights to YIA Airport, namely Malaysia and Singapore,” said Chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) in Yogyakarta Deddy Pranowo Eryono, Thursday, (01/12), 2023.

Deddy encouraged the government to open more international flight routes in and out of Yogya to boost the number of foreign tourists visits whose visitation rate was relatively low. Because, after investigation, one factor that causes the lack of foreign tourist visits is due to the limited schedule of direct flights serving Yogyakarta.

“In fact, from the ATF 2023 event, we predict that there will be thousands of guests who will stay in Yogyakarta with the target of foreign residents,” said Dedst.

Information received by PHRI, until the policy of Enforcing Community Activity Restrictions or PPKM to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted late last year, the central government has not shown signs of fully opening visits for foreign tourists to Indonesia. “We hope that the central government can provide convenience for international flight access at YIA Airport,” said Deddy.

In fact, according to Deddy, several airlines from various countries have proposed that there be direct flights between countries. For example, airlines from Turkey and Thailand had previously proposed direct flight routes from their countries to YIA Airport in Kulon Progo Regency, DIY. However, even though the DIY regional government has received approval, the implementation of the flight route has not yet received a response from the central government, namely the Ministry of Transportation.

The General Manager of YIA Airport, Agus Pandu Purnama, said that to support the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023 event, PT Angkasa Pura I is working on a new international flight route, namely Yogya-Thailand in January 2023. “Thailand has a good position for passenger development, because it is a country that can be passed by other ASEAN countries,” he said. [sources/photo special]