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Friday, 28 Feb 2020

ASITA: European Tourists Cancel Trip to West Java because of Fear to Transit in Singapore

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ASITA: European Tourists Cancel Trip to West Java because of Fear to Transit in SingaporeASITA: European Tourists Cancel Trip to West Java because of Fear to Transit in Singapore

News24xx.com - Concerns over the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak have affected tourism in West Java, with a number of European tourists reportedly canceling their trips to the province.

According to the Indonesian Tour Association and Travel Agents (ASITA), European tourists have expressed concern over the new corona virus because diseases such as pneumonia have spread from China to neighboring Indonesia.

"Singapore has recorded confirmed cases of [coronavirus], while their flights [to Indonesia] are supposed to transit in Singapore," West Java's ASITA head Budijanto Ardiansjah said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.

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"Some European tourists have canceled their trips. They asked for confirmation whether Indonesia was safe [from the virus] or not and they had decided to postpone their visit until the outbreak died down. "

He refused to reveal how many tourists had canceled their plans.

In line with recent government policies, airlines have suspended their flights to and from China in response to the plague, which has subsequently affected the visit of Chinese tourists, one of the biggest contributors to foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia.

ASITA Bali has previously said that thousands of Chinese tourists have canceled their trips to Bali after a virus outbreak, which has killed more than 1,500 and spread to nearly 30 countries since it first appeared in Wuhan city at the end of December last year.

Indonesia does not yet have a confirmed case of a new corona virus, although its neighbors have reported many positive diagnoses. Singapore, for example, has confirmed that 67 people were infected in these city-states on Friday, The Strait Times reported.

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The cancellation came amid an attempt by the West Java government to attract more European and American tourists to the province, which has a number of well-known destinations such as the provincial capital of Bandung and the district of Ciwidey.

According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), a total of 1,565,200 European tourists visited Indonesia from January to September last year. This number shows a slight decline compared to the same period in 2018 when 1,566,900 Europeans visited the country.

Budi acknowledged that West Java was still less attractive compared to Bali, saying that only 8 to 10 percent of tourists from Europe who visited Indonesia included West Java in their travel plans.

He said West Java was still lacking in promotion despite its natural beauty and culture, which had become an attraction for European tourists, including those from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

"European tourists are different from Asian tourists. Asian tourists like shopping, while Europeans are more into nature and culture, "Budi said.

ASITA has considered strategies to attract more European tourists to visit West Java before going to Bali, such as by encouraging them to take a train from Jakarta to Bandung or get off at Puncak in Bogor before continuing to Yogyakarta or Bali.


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