JAKARTA. The Indonesian government is predicting that the recent severing of ties between several Arab countries and Qatar would deal a blow to the archipelago’s tourism industry, with 50,000 expected tourists not showing up because of the crisis, a senior official said on Tuesday.
That is the number of visitors Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Qatar Airways, for the most part, would have brought to Indonesia this year.
“Given that seven months are left in the year 2017, we estimate we will lose about 50,000 foreign tourists as a result of the boycott of Qatar,” Arief told reporters at the State Palace on Tuesday.
In order to reduce the expected loss, Arief said his ministry would coordinate with the Transportation Ministry to transfer the license given to the Qatari airline to other airlines, such as Emirates and Etihad.
“First of all, I will ask the Transportation Ministry to transfer the aircraft license given to Qatar [Airways] to other airlines. We have no option as they [Qatar Airways] could not fly their aircraft anyway,” Arief said.
Qatar Airways said on its official website it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia and several of its allies on Monday cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism.
Editor: Barratut Taqiyyah Rafie