The Indonesian government will disburse Rp3.3 trillion (US$224 million) in grants to help tourism-related businesses, especially hotels and restaurants, cushion the impact of the pandemic as well as to finance improved health protocol implementation at tourist destinations.
Wishnutama Kusubandio, minister of tourism and creative economy, said at a web-press conference last week: “This is the first of various recovery programmes that are expected to help the hotel and restaurant industry, which is facing financial difficulties as well as local administrations that are losing out on tourism revenue due to the pandemic.”
The grant is expected to be disbursed until December as part of the National Economic Recovery programme.
Recipients of the grant includes 10 priority tourism destinations and five super-priority destinations, provincial capitals, branded destinations and regions that are included in the ministry’s calendar of events. Monetary assistance will also be given to regions where revenue from hotel and restaurant tax accounted for at least 15 per cent of its locally generated income during the 2019 financial year.
The bulk of the grant – 70 per cent – will be channelled to hotels and restaurants, while the rest will be set aside for regional cash injection.
Maulana Yusran, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said the grant would be allocated based on the hotel or restaurant’s tax contribution in 2019, and businesses need to show proof of their 2019 tax payment to qualify for assistance.
As there is still much curiosity about the procedures to access the grant, Andhy Irawan, CEO of Dafam Hotel Management, urged the government to improve its communications.
He emphasised the risk of complication should different regions in Indonesia interpret the grant distribution differently.