Hotel and Restaurant Association Question the Wisdom of Ban on Government Meetings at Hotels
Some tourism players in Bali are nervous with the decision of the Joko Widodo Government to ban government meetings and seminars in hotels. Quoted by the State News Agency Antara, I Wayan Rawan Atmadja, a member of Commission IV of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), said on Monday, November 10, 2014, “The meetings held (in the past by government agencies have been very helpful in boosting hotel occupancies in Bali.”
Atmadja is concerned about widely publicized plans by President Joko Widodo to ban government meetings in hotels and privately held venues when sufficient space is already available in government-owned meeting venues. The President’s transition team identified that the government spends an estimated US$1.5 billion annually on meetings.
The Balinese legislator said that while he understands the Government’s desire to reduce budget deficits, he’s genuinely concerned the impact this decision will have on economic growth and hotel occupancies in destinations such as Bali. Atmadja is also concerned that the sudden removal of government bookings for meetings and rooms in Bali will serve to fuel the ongoing price war within the Bali hotel sector.
For this reason, he hopes the government will carefully study the impact of the proposed change in policy before its final implementation. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) has raised objections to the new policy, calling for an urgent review of plans to curtail government meetings in hotels nationwide.
The PHRI Chairman, Wiryanti Sukamdani, said: “The policy to forbid civil servants from meeting in hotels sits in opposition to the core responsibility of hotels to serve the public, including government workers. Our hotels are open to serve the public, including government workers. This policy of forbidding government meetings in hotels threatens to cause a business collapse and thousands of people could lose this jobs.”
Sukamdani insists that the government must review the new policy and ensure that business at the nation’s hotels does not suffer a setback as a result. She reminded the government the taxes from the hotel and restaurant sector is equivalent Rp. 50 trillion (US$4.16 million), dominating tax intakes in Jakarta and Bali.
“Because of this, the government’s (new) policy will have a big influence on hotel occupancies. Investment in the hotel sector, and cause hardship for thousands of hotel workers,” she warned. At the same time the PHRI chairman said her organization understands and supported in principle efforts by the government to introduce economies and saving in the State budget.
The government via the Minister for the Optimization of the State Apparatus and Bureaucratic Reform together with the Minister of the Interior has published a circular memorandum forbidding central government officials from holding official meetings and gatherings in hotels.
source : bali discovery tours