Indonesia tourism bookings hit following double earthquake

Research undertaken by ForwardKeys has revealed the recent earthquakes in Indonesia have been responsible for a 26 per cent setback in bookings to the destination since the second major earthquake this year, on August 5th.

On July 29th, an earthquake, measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale rocked the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing 20 people and injuring over 400.

Just nine days later, a second, even more devastating earthquake, measuring 6.9, struck Lombok again, killing 555 people and injuring over 1,400.

Furthermore, over 156,000 have been displaced.

Prior to these two devastating shocks, Indonesia was having a good year for tourism; bookings from January were up ten per cent on the equivalent period in 2017.

That growth all but ceased after the first quake; and following the second, bookings have fallen 26 per cent.

The tourist trade has been particularly badly affected because bookings to the country’s top tourist destination, Bali, which is adjacent to Lombok, have fallen much further than bookings to Indonesia as a whole.

From January 1st until the first earthquake, bookings for Bali were 15.2 per cent up; however, since the second quake, they have fallen by 42.9 per cent.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism accounts for ten per cent of total employment in Indonesia but in the tourism hot spots, such as Bali and Lombok, it is considerably higher.

By comparison Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, which is a regional commercial centre, has fared much better; bookings are down by just 2.2 per cent.

Indonesia’s most important source market is China, accounting for 14 per cent of all visitors.

Prior to the second earthquake, bookings were up three per cent on the previous year but afterwards they suffered a 59 per cent flop.

Olivier Jager, chief executive, ForwardKeys, said: “In the face of such an overwhelming natural disaster, it is not surprising that there has been a collapse in travel bookings. 

“One can only feel enormous sympathy for Indonesia and for the people of Lombok.”

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