The tragic bomb attacks that took place in
Jakarta on 17 July 2009 have again shocked Jakarta and the entire
country. However, the latest UNWTO mission, carried out by Xu
Jing, Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific from 21-22
July 2009, indicates that the city is recovering rapidly.
Apart from the specific areas where the JW
Marriot and Ritz-Carlton are located, life has basically restored
to normal. “Jakarta did stop for a moment on Friday, but not for
long. We are not going to allow terrorists to dictate and allow
them to make Jakarta their hostage,” said Fauzi Bowo, Governor of
DKI Jakarta on 21 July at the Jakarta Media Centre.
Latest data, obtained from Indonesia’s Ministry
of Culture and Tourism and confirmed by the Indonesia Hotel and
Restaurant Association, reveal that there is no obvious tourist
exodus from Jakarta nor from Bali - which is enjoying good trade
this year - as a result of the blast.
The Government of Indonesia took a number of
immediate actions in order to minimize the negative impacts of the
attacks. A Crisis Centre was immediately established in the
Ministry of Culture and Tourism to provide the tourism industry as
well as individual visitors with information and the latest
updates on the situation.
“There is no room for terrorism to kill tourism.
There is no room for terrorists to use tourism to kill innocent
visitors,” said Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General a.i. of
UNWTO. “Despite the temporary setbacks, Indonesia, as a
world-famous tourist destination will continue its charm of
cultural and natural diversity. In fact, Indonesia performed
exceptionally well last year, achieving a 16.8 % increase of
international tourist arrivals. From January to May 2009, tourist
arrivals to Bali, Indonesia’s prime destination, were up by as
high as 9.35 % when most destinations in the region were adversely
affected by the financial and economic downturn. Time and again,
Indonesia has manifested itself as an exemplary model to use
tourism as an effective instrument not only to confront the short
term economic difficulties but more importantly as a driving
engine for job creation, trade and development.”
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