Surabaya attacks spur heightened security at Asian Games, trade recovery efforts

Jakarta says it will step up on security in time to welcome the Asian Games; Senayan Sports Complex (in background), one of the event venues, pictured

Security will be stepped up at the upcoming Asian Games, taking place in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 to September 2, in the wake of the recent bombings in Surabaya.

Anies Baswedan, governor of Jakarta, said his office has been working closely with all stakeholders to keep the city safe and secure.

Jakarta says it will step up on security in time to welcome the Asian Games; Senayan Sports Complex (in middle ground), one of the events venues, pictured

“Do not be afraid,” he said while addressing the media in Jakarta last week, adding that the recent attacks in Surabaya serve as a lesson in vigilance, spurring efforts to improve security measures with the Asian Games round the corner.

Indonesia’s minister for youth and sports Imam Nahrawi also assured that preparations for the high-profile sports event remain on track and that the ministry will continue to work with all parties involved to ensure the smooth running of the Asian Games.

Meanwhile, the travel trade has reported minimal fallouts from the Surabaya attacks, attributing this to swift responses from the Indonesian authorities.

With the belief that the impact will be “minimal and contained”, Hariyadi Sukamdani, chairman of Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association, said: “Terror can take place anywhere and (referring to several incidents in Europe) the recovery is quick. In Surabaya, the police acted very promptly and managed to capture other suspects within a couple of days, (curbing plans for further attacks).”

The Casa Grande hotel group in Surabaya, despite recording a drop in occupancy for its economy hotels in the initials days following the attack, has already seen occupancy quickly bouncing back in the days after.

Hasiyanna Ashadi, chairman of ASITA Jakarta Chapter, said: “We received a few reports of cancellations or postponement of ad hoc tours on the day following the incident. However, the tour series remain generally intact.

“Moreover, now being the Ramadhan fasting month now, the market tends to be slower. So while there is an impact, it is insignificant,” Hasiyanna added.

To stimulate the market, Indonesia Ministry of Tourism together with Visit Wonderful Indonesia (ViWI) committee launched the Jakarta Ramadhan Hot Deals packages last weekend, on top of the Jakarta Weekend Hot Deals launched earlier.

Haryadi, who is chairman of Visit Wonderful Indonesia, said: “The low season in Jakarta gives us an opportunity to work with airlines (Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines, among others ), hotels and agents to promote Ramadhan hot deals.

Later this month, Surabaya Hot Deal and Bali Hot Deals will also be launched.

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