In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, there were 220,000 visitors to the park. Indonesia’s tourism industry is slowly recovering, but such price increases are likely to recede again.
“I think this is the future here. Only certain people will be able to go to the Komodo Islands and local tourism will be marginalized,” Tali said. “Tourism should be enjoyed by all”
Fee increases have been postponed until January in response to protests.
The decision was made at the direction of President Joko Widodo, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said.
This comes after a backlash against a planned quadruple price hike at another major Indonesian tourist attraction. Located in Central Java, access to the summit of Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple, was a jump for both domestic and foreign tourists.
State and central governments had suggested a rise as the surface of the 9th-century temple continued to decline, but protests forced it to postpone until next June.
At Komodo National Park, Uno said, “These are efforts made for conservation and economic recovery.”
Komodo monitor lizard populations are stable, last year totaling 3,458 including 1,383 adult lizards, according to government figures.However, in 2021 the seed will be Added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s endangered species list The shrinking of their habitat, especially due to sea level rise, is a major concern.
There are other changes afoot, as well as a pending price increase for viewing Komodo Dragons.
Viktor Raiskodat, governor of East Nusa Tenggara province, where Komodo is located, and whose state-owned company will impose new fees, wants to lower the annual cap of tourists to the park from 245,000 to 200,000.
“We want to protect the ecosystem and the Komodo dragons,” said Zeth Sony Libing, Head of Tourism for East Nusa Tenggara.
But with the lives of many locals at stake, they face a delicate balancing act.
Another tourism industry representative in Labuan Bajo, who requested anonymity, said the price hike would “kill business here.”
“Let’s not forget, East Nusa Tenggara is one of the poorest provinces in Indonesia,” he said. “The solution to poverty is to create jobs, and Labuan Bajo’s tourism sector has so far been able to provide jobs for locals.
“So the elite must be smart. The current difficult situation is made more difficult by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. I’m glad the pandemic seems to have subsided, but then the war between Russia and Ukraine was hit again by , which caused a rise in oil prices that affected air ticket fares.”
Labuan Baju’s travel agent, Tali, said he had already canceled tour packages. He fears the surge will force him to close his business.
“I agree with the price increase, but I disagree with the amount,” he said. “This new policy is a dilemma for us. Personally and with our other friends, we are against it. I hope the government will reconsider.”
– with Reuters
Komodo tour guides furious as free entry increases by 2383%
Source link Komodo tour guides furious as free entry increases by 2383%