Govt promises lower port fees to boost cruise tourism
Thursday’s arrival of the Pacific Eden cruise ship in Bali’s Benoa Port was welcomed by three Indonesian ministers, namely Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi.
The three of them had the chance to meet Sture Myrmell, the president of Carnival Australia of Carnival Corporation, and Mike Drake, the director of P&O Australia Carnival Group.
At the welcoming event, the group discussed Indonesian port fees, which Drake said were 10-15 percent above those of neighboring countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
According to Luhut, high port fees, expensive fuel and water pollution have been a problem for years. He promised to solve all of those issues through state-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) III to attract more cruise ships to Benoa Port in future.
Read also: Pacific Eden Cruise arrives in Benoa
“We’ll readjust the port fees with Singapore as the benchmark. We’ll issue regulations and adopt the National Cruise Tourism Strategy to prevent such a problem from happening again in the future,” said Luhut.
“We’re going to build a cruise terminal that meets international standards in Benoa. That is part of the preparations for the IMF – World Bank Annual Meeting in October 2018, which will be attended by 13,000-18,000 people from 189 countries,” he added.
Arief said the number of cruise ships in Indonesia had decreased from 400 to 350 calls in 2016. However, the number of passengers had increased from 200,000 in 2015 to 260,000 in 2016. “That shows that the cruise ships coming to Indonesia have increased in size,” he added.
Moreover, he explained that Indonesia only received 1 million overseas tourists, “We’re still short in numbers if you compare it with Malaysia, which has 8 million overseas tourists. We’re going to increase the influx by 4 million,” said Arief. (kes)