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Tourism will take at least a year to recover from COVID-19 outbreak: Economists

first_imgTopics : Faisal said that when Indonesia’s tourist destinations were hit by natural disasters, such as Lombok’s earthquake in 2018, tourists needed time before traveling there again. Even six months after the Lombok earthquake, tourist numbers had not yet returned to normal.He predicted that COVID-19 would have a deeper impact than natural disasters, as people could not predict when the pandemic would be totally over. “Thus, the tourism outlook this year will really depend on how this virus spreads. If the virus subsides in the third and fourth quarter this year, we predict that the tourism sector will recover in 2021, but it will not be fully recovered yet,” said Faisal.Indonesia Travel Agent Association (Astindo) general secretary and director of Elok Tour, Pauline Suharno, said even if the outbreak slowed down in June, the after effect on the industry would continue, as it needed time to recover.A Flourish chart Indonesia’s tourism sector, the industry hardest-hit by COVID-19, is projected to take a long time to recover, although the pandemic is expected to slow down in the third quarter this year, economists and business players estimate.Economist and director of the Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Mohammad Faisal said the tourism sector really depended on the people’s psychology, and was very sensitive to safety and security aspects. In the recovery period, regaining people’s trust to travel again after the pandemic would be a challenging task, he said.“During the recovery period, unlike other business sectors, tourism will take a longer time to return to normalcy because tourists need to ensure that the situation is really safe and secure before they travel again. So it will take time,” Faisal told The Jakarta Post on April 2.center_img “We will not be able to sell [tourism packages] right away. It really depends on the economic situation as well. With the economy disrupted, it also reduces people’s desire to travel,” she said.COVID-19 has hit tourism and left tourist destinations across the county empty of visitors. Some popular tourist sites are temporarily closed, such as Borobudur Temple in Central Java and Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara. Statistics Indonesia data show that Indonesia had only 885,067 foreign tourist arrivals in February, a 28.85 percent decline from February last year. Meanwhile, from January to February, Indonesia recorded 2.16 million foreign tourist visits, an 11.8 percent drop from the 2.45 million tourists recorded during the same period last year.“Visitor numbers in February have declined at all entrance points. Considering the current situation, tourist visits are predicted to drop further in March than in February,” said Statistics Indonesia head Suhariyanto on Wednesday.  Suhariyanto said that almost all tourists from countries known as Indonesia’s main tourist markets such as China, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia fell in February. Tourist visits from China alone fell by 93.5 percent to only 11,780 people in February from 199,960 tourists in the same period last year.Astindo recorded a 90 percent drop in sales following booking cancellations in March with potential losses expected to reach Rp 4 trillion, the same amount they reported losing in February. With the current situation, many travel agents have been forced to lay off their non-permanent workers such as drivers and office boys.“The contracts of most non-permanent workers will not be extended. Travel agents also experienced difficulty to pay operational costs and wages in February and March. If there is no help from the government, many businesspeople [travel agents] will not be able to pay employees’ salaries in April,” said Pauline.The PHRI reported the country’s hotel overall occupancy rate had fallen to 30 to 40 percent since early January. PHRI chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani reported last week that 698 hotels across Indonesia had closed due to COVID-19.To help the tourism sector and all businesses recover quickly after the pandemic, the chairman of the Indonesia Tourism Intellectuals Association (ICPI), Azril Azahari, shared several actions that must be carried out such as disinfecting major tourist destinations.“Perform the disinfection at all tourist destinations including hotels, in order to regain people’s trust that tourist destinations and accommodation in Indonesia is all free of COVID-19, so they can feel safe,” stated Azril in its statement.A Flourish chartHe also called on the government to provide financial incentives in the form of loan repayment relaxation to business players in the tourism sector, especially small and medium enterprises, and give cash assistance to employees working in the tourism sector.COVID-19 will severely affect tourism globally. The UN World Tourism Organzation estimated that international tourist arrivals could decline by between 20 and 30 percent globally in 2020, from 1.46 billion tourist arrivals in 2019 to only 1.02 to 1.17 billion tourists this year. This could lead to financial losses of US$300 billion to $450 billion in international tourism exports.last_img read more

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Porterfield: ICC must develop game

first_imgIreland captain William Porterfield has once more attacked the International Cricket Council’s decision to cut the number of teams at the next World Cup. It has prompted much indignation, especially in the wake of Ireland’s spirited displays in recent weeks, having beaten Test-playing sides West Indies and Zimbabwe as they fell just short of reaching the knockout phases. Porterfield himself expressed his dismay at the decision last month and speaking after his team’s defeat to Pakistan – which ensured Ireland missed out on a quarter-final spot on net run-rate alone after finishing level on points with the Windies in Pool B – he again called on the ICC to help develop the game. Speaking at his post-match press conference, he said: “Why don’t 10 teams just play cricket and every other country in the world not bother? “You’ve got a Champions Trophy every two years and that’s the top eight sides so you’re just making a World Cup every other year for the top eight to 10 sides, I don’t think it’s right. “I’m sure they’re (the ICC) hoping everything blows over in the next few weeks and they don’t hear much from us, then it’s just easy to brush it under the carpet, but I think something has to be done if they want to grow the game. “We have to be playing in these competitions and we’ve shown what we can do in them. We’re unlucky we’ve missed out on the quarter-finals on net run-rate.” In between the current and previous World Cups, Ireland had played just nine matches against Full Member nations. Porterfield added: “We’ve shown what we can do when we get to these competitions with the minimal fixtures that we’ve had, so I think when we do get more fixtures then we’re only going to keep improving and it’s the same with any other country. This year’s edition features 14 teams, but under the ICC’s plans that will be reduced to 10 for the next tournament to be held in England in 2019. Eight places will be decided according to the world rankings and it is likely the associate nations, including the Irish, will have to battle it out for two qualifying spots. “You’ve got to keep growing the game.” Ireland have the chance to earn Test status in two years’ time, and Porterfield hopes they can play more shorter-format matches against the top nations to continue their development. He said: “We need more fixtures, we’ve shown how we can grow in one-day internationals. “Any time we’ve been on a tour or a World Cup for eight to 12 weeks we’ve shown what we can do, but when we go back now as a national side we’ve got six weeks until our next game (against England). “It’s a big gap in a calendar, especially at the start of a season back home, so those are the gaps we need filling before we look to start building for Test status. “It’s something we all want and there is that pathway there for Test cricket but we need to improve the volume of fixtures before we get to that stage.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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FIFA Approves YFD for Liberia

first_imgThe world football controlling body, FIFA, has approved a youth football development league for Liberia to support domestic youth football in the country.According to a letter sent to the Liberia Football Association by FIFA acting general secretary Marcus Kattner, a copy of which was sent to its development office in neighboring Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, FIFA will provide support for the hosting of 16 teams of 20 players (per team, including two goalkeepers).LFA technical director Henry Browne said FIFA will also provide bibs, shirts, shorts, shin guards, socks, boots and goalkeeping equipment, balls and cones.He said a FIFA development officer will visit Liberia to help the LFA prepare the project and relevant timetable for the various activities.Browne said the success of the youth tournament, which will benefit U-14 male and female teams, will lead to the hosting of another tournament.“We are targeting Monsterrado County for the first tournament,” Browne said, “and once we are successful in hosting it, the next one could be held in another county.”Quoting FIFA’s release, Browne said the Liberia Football Association is responsible to propose dates to host one-month coaching course before the tournament.“We also must have a referees’ course one week before the start of the league,” Browne said.“We will have to submit an activity plan for the planning of the two courses and also to provide FIFA with a league schedule for the competition.”Browne said FIFA will support the youth domestic league with US$50,000 and is hoping that the Liberian government can match FIFA’s donation to make the program a remarkable success.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more