Travel agency entrepreneurs are already having a hard time surviving the pandemic. Almost all travel agencies have laid off or laid off employees.
Chairperson of the Indonesian Travel Agent Association (Astindo) Pauline Suharno said that this July, travel ticket sales fell by 90 percent, even though the previous month’s performance had increased dramatically from the previous month. Sales of travel tickets are no longer sold because there are restrictions on people’s movement through PPKM Level 1 – 4 rules.
“We see that there is a gradual increase in sales from January to April, although the portion is only 20% of the achievement of the same period the previous year. In May it dropped due to restrictions on going home and other activities. In June it rose higher than before,” he explained to CNBC Indonesia TV.
“This July, since 3 weeks of Emergency PPKM or Levels 1 – 4, our sales have seen a 90% drop,” he added.
According to him this is due to the travel ban. Likewise, travel requirements are getting more complicated and official travel has drastically decreased. Even though the government sector is often relied on by travel agencies to earn income during the pandemic.
94 percent of Astindo members have laid off employees
From a survey conducted by Astindo of its 132 members, it was found that 51% of the members are no longer operating and have no activity, 45% are still trying to survive. Meanwhile, there are 94% of members who have laid off workers and made unpaid leave or laid off workers.
“Currently, the much-needed assistance is an injection of hard cash assistance for our capital to survive,” he said.
The government has provided some cash assistance to workers in the service sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, known as Wage Subsidy Assistance. But this assistance may not necessarily be accepted by workers in the airline ticket sales industry.
Because there are many BPJS Employment cards for workers who are no longer active. “Last year it might still be active. But for this year there are concerns that employers will no longer be able to pay BPJS Employment contributions due to the prolonged impact of the pandemic,” he explained.
Pauline also hopes that the Government Incentive Assistance (BIP) channeled through the Tourism Ministry’s tourism grant funds can also be widely felt by travel agencies. Not only those in tourist villages as written in the recipient’s technical manual.
“From the Juknis last month, this BIP was issued only for BPWs located in tourist villages. Meanwhile, there are no BPWs in villages. They are mostly in cities such as Sanur, Kuta, or Jakarta who sell tour packages to the village,” he explained.
“This Rp 200 million BIP is also in the form of an activity proposal. If it is approved, it will only get a BIP. Even though at this time we need cash for operational cost capital, not spending on activities,” he explained.
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