The Latest on an earthquake that struck Indonesia's Lombok island was felt as far as Bali. However, the disaster did not disrupt the hospitality business on the Island of the Gods. Tourists affected by the Lombok earthquake, finally continued their tour to the island of Bali.
Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) Bali Tjokorda ArthaArdana Sukawati said, hotel occupancy rates in Bali since July has shown a very good increase. With an average occupancy rate above 87%.
"The earthquake in Lombok did not affect Bali's condition. In fact there were exodus of tourists, especially from the Gilis. The number of tourists to Bali increased by 3%," Tjokorda said, Tuesday (7/8).
The man who is known as Cok Ace explained, along with the evacuation of thousands of tourists from Lombok to Bali, he also provides a maximum assistance under the coordination of the Bali Tourism Board.
"His assistance includes preparing transportation for tourists who are delayed due to the natural disasters," said the man who has become Bali's Chosen Deputy Governor.
Not only that, PHRI Bali also imposed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for overflow tourists from Lombok just as when the Mount Agung natural disaster erupted.
"We have SOPs for tourists who are experiencing delay due to natural disasters, including transportation, and hotel rates with special discounts. All are the same as when Mount Agung happened," he explained.
Ace added, PHRI Bali continues to coordinate with PHRI West Nusa Tenggara and all related stakeholders. Including providing valid information to prospective tourists who will travel to Bali.
"We continue delivering accurate and most up to date information, because potential tourists today continues to search for information assurance related to possible return of aftershocks. They have not yet decided to cancel or postpone their arrivals. Instead, they continue seeking informations from us," he concluded.
The Minister of Tourism, Arief Yahya also continued to be concerned to see the details of crisis management in Lombok and Bali affected by the earthquake.
What he prepared is 3A; Access, Amenities and Attractions. Amenities include accommodations for tourists. That is the main concern coming from the tourists during a disaster.
"In addition to access, the accommodation affected by the disaster are being closely monitored and we are doing our best to find solution," said Minister Arief Yahya.
He also appreciated PHRI Bali which has been very responsive to this situation. Moreover, PHRI Bali already had the experience when Mount Agung erupted.
"Well done! Very fast, and this is how the hospitality industry emergency response in Bali should be. Do not count your Profit and Loss first, but serve customers who are in panic and cannot fly home, this is far more important, "said Minister Arief Yahya.
Arief Yahya said that a friend in need is a friend indeed. When we help tourists who are in need of help, it will surely be remembered forever, 'said Arief.