Indonesia Tourism Minister Establishes Crisis Centers to Assist Air Passengers Inconvenienced by Flight Cancellations reports that the Indonesian Tourism Ministry is supplementing and strengthening the ‘Crisis Center” teams that have been set up across the Republic to help alleviate the disruptions caused by the explosion of Mount Raung in East Java and Mount Gamalama in North Maluku.

The Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya, in Jakarta on Saturday, July 18, 2015, said his office has formed ‘Crisis Centers” starting on July 10, 2015 when Mount Raung started to explode and cause the closure of several airports in Indonesia.

“At this time we are increasing our efforts to strengthen the ‘Crisis Centers' since the eruption of Mount Raung in East Java and the resulting volcanic ash caused disruption in flight schedules,” the Minister explained.

The Indonesian airports that have suffered intermittent closures or flight cancellations are Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, Lombok International Airport, Selaparang Mataram Airport, Blimbingsari Airport in Banyuwangi, Notohadinegoro Airport in Jember and Juanda International Airport in Surabaya.

“We will establish crisis center in the regions, particularly in areas affected directly by flight cancellations and delays inconveniencing both domestic and international tourists. We are urging all regional tourism services in the regions to take steps to overcome the crisis,” said Yahya.

Minister Yahya said the main challenge at the moment was handling aircraft passengers who have had their flights cancelled, delayed or suspended because of the eruptions. This includes finding accommodation for tourists stranded while waiting for their flight to resume operation.

The Minister said the regional tourism offices must react and handle problems of accommodation and transportation for stranded air passengers.

The various “Crisis Centers” are expected to use their best offices to obtain generous discounts at hotels near the airport for air passengers stranded by erupting volcanoes.

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