The growth of tourists in Lombok, both domestic and foreign, has not improved after the earthquake from July to August 2018. The slow rate of tourist growth occurs because after a period of recovery, Lombok once again was influenced by the increase in airplane ticket prices.
“It’s a pity for Lombok. When Lombok still recovered from the earthquake, this time it was affected again by the soaring ticket prices. The impact became industrial,” Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said at his office, Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat, Central Jakarta, Monday evening, April 8, 2019.
Arief admitted, until the middle of April 2019, the government still received a number of complaints about airplane tickets. The average complaint comes from a group or tourism association.
The surge in airplane ticket prices applies to all domestic flight routes. Since the end of the holidays in 2018 to April 2019, Arief predicts an increase in ticket rates has the effect of reducing tourist visits by 20 to 40 percent.
Arief said the most appropriate solution at this time, especially in Lombok, was to reduce airplane ticket prices. Apart from that, make variations in rates. “Don’t do a big and sudden rate increase if you don’t want to destroy the industry,” Arief said.
Lombok Tourism Service chief Lalu Moh Faozal confirmed that there had been a significant decline in the number of domestic tourist movements. During the period January-February 2019, the number of tourists fell 40 percent compared to the same period last year.
“The number of year on year has declined. There are various things which cause the number of tourists to decline,” Faozal said when contacted on Wednesday 2 April 2019.
The decline in the number of tourists will have an impact on the tourism industry, including the level of occupancy of the hotel. Faozal said, during January, the average occupancy of hotels in Lombok only reached 20 percent. Likewise in the following month.