Sabtu, 03 September 2011

IDUL FITRI HOLIDAYS HELP BOOST DOMESTIC TOURISM INDUSTRY by Fardah

      Jakarta, Sept 3, 2011 (ANTARA) - Many of the 237-million Indonesian people are in the mood for holidaying in the post-fasting Idul Fitri Muslim festivity, as they have flocked to tourist attractions throughout the country since the past few days.
        To celebrate the Idul Fitri which fell on August 31 (or 30 for some others), the government has announced that the national holidays and joint leave days are from August 29 to to September 3, 2011. With Saturday and Sunday, the Indonesian people have nine days holidays in total for Idul Fitri 2011.

       The long holidays have certainly helped boost certain sectors such as transportation and tourism. During this year`s Idul Fitri, about 15.5 million Idul Fitri or Lebaran travelers headed to their hometowns throughout Indonesia to celebrate Idul Fitri with their relatives.
       And after performing Idul Fitri mass prayer and getting together with their relatives, they spent the rest of the holidays by visiting recreational centers and tourist attractions such as beautiful beaches.
       There have been reports lately that recreational places, mountainous area, and beaches every where were crowded with visitors.
       In Jakarta, PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Department Corporate Plan Metty Yan Harahap estimated at least 1.5 million visitors would flood the Ancol Dreamland recreational park in one week from August 27 to Sept 4, 2011.
       She said the targeted number of visitors during the week would be 10 percent higher than that in last year`s Lebaran week-long holiday.
       Monas Square in Central Jakarta was packed with people observing the eve of Idul Fitri, the festivity marking the end of the fasting month, on Tuesday evening (Aug 3).

Traffic jams were seen on the roads leading to the location such as Jalan Merdeka Selatan and Jalan Merdeka Timur causing snarls in other main roads such as on Jalan Thamrin.

Firecrackers were heard in many parts of the city while fireworks were also seen in the sky from several locations on the special evening.

On the second day of Idul Fitri, Thursday (Sept 1), at least 45,000 people visited the Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park (TMII), eastern Jakarta.

"Today, the number of visitors reach 45,000 people, double than that on the first day of Lebaran," TMII Information Manager Mas`ud Toyib said in Jakarta, Thursday (Sept 1), predicting that the peak would be on Sunday (Sept 4).

In Tangerang, Banten Province, thousands of holiday makers visited Tanjung Pasir beach, Teluk Naga sub district, on Saturday (Sept 3).

"Since morning, this beach has been drawing thousands of visitors," Tanjung Pasir Security Coordinator Asmar Yopi said here on Saturday.

He predicted that the beach would remian packed with people throughout Saturday and Sunday (Sept 3 and 4), the last days of the Idul Fitri holidays.

Rosidah (28), a Balaraja resident, said every year she and her friends visited Tanjung Pasir beach because it was located closer to home and easier to reach than Anyer, a more popular seaside resort.

"If we go to Anyer, we are also afraid of getting stuck in a traffic jam," she said.

Tens of thousands of people were expected to visit Anyer beach in Serang District, Banten Province, during the upcoming weekend (Sept 3 and 4).

"The peak of tourist arrivals at Anyer is expected to happen this Saturday and Sunday," Secretary of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI)`s Serang Chapter Sukirman, said in Anyer, Banten, on Friday (Sept 2).

Cilegon Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Umar Surya Fana said he would deploy a number of personnel to anticipate the increased flow of tourist arrivals in Anyer in the weekend.

"This weekend, it`s not only the peak of tourist arrivals in Anyer Beach, but also the reverse flow of Eid Fitr travelers from Bakauheni to Merak Seaport," he said.

In West Java, a number of tourists visiting Mount Papandayan, West Java, have ignored a government warning not to enter the area in the immediate vicinity of the mountain which erupted recently.

Although a number of signs had been put up at points at the mountain`s foot to warn visitors that the mountain had been in an alert status since August 13, 2011, tourists were still eager to visit Mount Papandayan, Imam said

During the current Idul Fitri holiday season, many big city people who came to Garut to meet families or relatives had also taken the opportunity to visit Mount Papandayan.

A Garut government spokesperson, Dikdik Hendraja , said n Mount Papandayan had been attracting a number of tourists from outside the region since the start of the Idul Fitri holiday season.

Also in West Java Province, at least 25,000 visitors were expected to flock to several tourism resorts in the Rancabali region, Bandung District.

On every weekend and during Idul Fitri holidays, the number of visitors to tourist attractions such as Kawah Putih, Situ Patenggang, Cimanggu, Ciwalini and Mt Highland significantly increases, Asep Ester, chairman of the Bandung Tourism group (Kompepar), said recently.

"Yesterday, the number of tourists was around 17,000 people coming from various cities in Indonesia. Few of them came from other countries. It`s likely that the number of tourist arrivals this year will increase from the previous year," Asep, manager of Situ Patenggang and Cimanggu of PT Pesona Matahari said.

Malls and department stores have also become the target of holidaymakers. In Bekasi District, West Java, the number of people visiting Cikarang malls has increased around 17 percent during post-fasting Idul Fitri.

"In the end of Ramadhan (fasting month), visitors come for discounted products, especially garments and Lebaran (Idul Fitri) necessities," Ridwan Arifin, a spokesman of the Sentra Grosir Cikarang (SGC), said in Bekasi on Friday (Sept 2).

Maya (37), a visitor who came to the mall with her children, said, "I am accompanying my children to enjoy their holidays. Because, in Bekasi, it`s difficult to find a recreational place," she said.

In Palembang, South Sumatra, visitors had flocked to Punti Kayu forestry tourism resort since Thursday (Sept 1)

Andi, a ticket counter officer, said in Palembang, Friday (Sept 2), that he expected the number of visitors would increased until Sunday (Sept 4), the last day of the Idul Fitri holiday season.

The Punti Kayu forest accommodates various animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, snakes and several species of birds.

In East Java Province, the number of people visiting Wonorejo Dam located at Wonorejo village, Pagerwojo sub district, Tulungagung District, has increased drastically during the current Idul Fitri holidays.

"It was crowed yesterday, there were over one thousand visitors," Sugianto, a security officer of Tulungagung Jasa Tirta I regional drinking water company said on Friday.

The visitors, mostly young people, came not only from Tulungagung but also other regions such as Trenggalek, Kediri and even Jakarta.

In the normal day, the entry tickets to the dam was Rp7,000 per two persons, but it has been increased to Rp7,500 per person during the Idul Fitri holidays. The dam is usually visited by a little more than ten people in working days.

In the same province, tens of thousands of people flocked to a number of recreation centers in Malang city, Batu and Malang District, on Saturday (Sept 3).

An average of five to six thousand people visited Jatim Park 2 every day during the Idul Fitri holiday season, Nia Hapsari, a spokesman of the Jatim Park 2 recreational center, said in Malang on Saturday.

The park has increased the number of employees from 300 to 400 workers during the Idul Fitri holidays to serve visitors whose number was up by 40 percent from the normal days.

The Jatim Park 1 visitors has also increased from 2,000 people in the normal day to over 4,000 people a day during the Idul Fitri holidays.

Some 7,000 visitors flocked Wendit Water Park (WWP) in Malang District every day over the past few days. Other tourist attractions in Malang District include Sengkaling, Balekambang beach, Ngliyep, Sendangbiru, Kondangmerak, Sipelot, and Tambang.

North Sumatran people preferred to spend their holidays in Laguboti beach at Lumban Binanga village, Toba Samosir District.

"The panorama here is very beautiful , not less fascinating than other tourist resorts, therefore we chose to come here with our family for recreation," Sihol Marito, a local tourist, said on Saturday.

Sihol said he and his family often visited the beach because his children liked playing on the sand and the scenery was beautiful. All hotels in Toba Samosir have been fully booked during this holiday season.

However, few rich Indonesians chose to go to Australia during the holidays. The Australian embassy in Jakarta had received over 16,000 applications for visitor visas during the seven weeks leading up to Muslim holiday, Idul Fitri 1432H.

"Lebaran is a special time for all Indonesians and we`re proud to be able to meet the growing demand for Indonesians visiting Australia," Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty said in a press release in Jakarta, Friday (Sept 2).

There were 123,890 Indonesian visitors to Australia in 2010, up by around 14 per cent on 2009. Last year, nearly 740,000 Australians visited Indonesia, making it the second-largest destination for Australian travelers. ***1***

(F001/A/HAJM/15:20/f001)
(T.F001/A/F001/F001) 03-09-2011 15:21:26


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