Indonesia braces for tourism hit after Jakarta attack

January 14, 2016 15:55
2 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

SINGAPORE - Indonesia faces a drop in tourist numbers, at least in the short term, following Thursday's attack in central Jakarta claimed by Islamic State, in a blow to Southeast Asia's biggest economy already growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis.

An Indonesian and a Canadian were killed, along with five attackers, while 20 people, including a Dutchman, were wounded. Two of the militants were taken alive, police said.

The attack could frustrate President Joko Widodo's ambitions to nearly double tourist arrivals to 20 million people by 2019, although Indonesia's tourism ministry said that it was sticking to that target despite the gun and bomb assault.

The government has removed visa requirements for visitors from 84 countries making a short visit, and is working to give visa-free entry to more nationalities in a bid to attract more travelers.

Indonesia, famous for the idyllic island of Bali, its dramatic volcanic landscapes and ancient temples, was estimated to have welcomed 10 million foreign tourists in 2015.

Some travel agents said they had received calls from worried tourists, but they predicted that the effects of the attack would be shortlived.

"I think this incident will definitely have an impact on travel to Indonesia, especially to Jakarta," said Terence Cheong, director of Orient Travel and Tours, a travel agency based in Kuala Lumpur and the operator of, a hotel booking website.

In the Netherlands, whose tourists visit Bali for its beach resorts and other big islands for a taste of the country's colonial history, some travel agents received phone calls from concerned customers.

"It's early days, but I don't think it will be too bad," said Willem Linders, who operates roughly 200 group tours to Indonesia through his travel agency Indonesia Tours.

The number of Dutch visitors to Indonesia has jumped nearly 50 percent over the past decade from a low after the Bali bombings to more than 169,000 in 2014, according to the Indonesia statistics office.

Bali, located hundreds of miles from Jakarta and a major attraction for tourists, was a target of militant attacks more than a decade ago, when a nightclub bombing killed 202 people, most of them tourists.

Noviendi Makalam, spokesman for Indonesia's tourism ministry, expected tourist arrivals to the capital to drop over the next 2-3 months. He estimated that Jakarta contributed around 30 percent to the country's total foreign tourist arrivals.

Travel and tourism directly contributed around $23 billion to Indonesia's economy in 2014, or about 3.2 percent of GDP, according to a report from the World Travel & Tourism Council.

It forecast that figure to rise by 6 percent last year, and to show an annual growth of 5.3 percent from 2015-2025. ($1 = 13,905.0000 rupiah).

Related Content

Breaking news
August 21, 2018
Madonna defends herself after Aretha Franklin tribute backlash