Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tourism industry to adjust rates after fuel price hike

Following the nationwide fuel price hike last week, some tourism businesses in Bali intend to increase their rates.

The Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) Bali chapter has forecast increases of between 10 to 15 percent in restaurant prices.

“The adjusted rates will be applied within the next three months,” IB Purwa Sidemen, the association’s executive director, said Tuesday.

He said the fuel price hike had caused food prices to skyrocket, leaving restaurants with no choice other than to adjust their prices.

Before increasing their prices, restaurants would have to calculate and compare with other businesses to decide on competitive prices, he added.

“We will see how the market develops in the coming two to three months before taking a strategy on coping with the rising price of food.”

As for hotels, Sidemen explained that room rates could not be automatically increased because the prices had been agreed with travel agents and were regulated through contracts.

“Hotels need more time to revise the agreements when there are any rate changes.”

For now, to cope with the impact of the new fuel prices affecting operational costs, hotels would need to operate more efficiently and save energy, he said.

PHRI chairman, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, predicted that hotel rates would increase by around 15 percent following higher fuel prices.

“In recent years, when fuel prices increased, room rates increased by around 15 percent on the previous price. We expect this time to be similar,” he said recently.

The Indonesian Marine Tourism Association (Gahawisri) for Badung regency said their businesses had also been affected by the rising price of fuel since they used diesel fuel for their boats.

Therefore, association members had agreed to implement higher tariffs on water tourism attractions, said I Made Tromat, Gahawisri chairman for Badung.

“We have started to apply a 40 percent increase for customers starting June 24,” he said, adding that the decision had been taken after a meeting of 24 companies, all of which are members of Gahawisri Badung.

Despite the increased prices, the number of customers remained high, especially during this school holiday season.

The operators, all of which are located in Tanjung Benoa, have enjoyed a two-fold increase in customer numbers this week.

“Water sports remain attractive to tourists, especially domestic tourists,” Tromat said.

Their favorite attraction was parasailing, he added, especially for those from Jakarta. (Jakarta Post)

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