Anyer, Banten (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) revoked a ban to hold meetings at hotels that had earlier been issued by the home affairs minister, according to Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.

"Last night, Mr President personally informed about the revocation of the ban on holding meetings at hotels. Hence, it is now allowed to hold meetings at hotels," Minister Yahya stated here, Tuesday.

The government`s institutions can hold meetings at hotels, including those in Banten Province, as the Tourism Ministry and Banten provincial administration are intensifying efforts to revive tourism in Sunda Strait that was hit by a tsunami last December.

Some 50 events have been planned to attract tourists, as part of the recovery efforts in Anyer and Carita, Banten, he revealed, adding that he will visit Anyer and Carita every month until April 2019.

The recovery program of Anyer and Carita beach tourism will last until March this year, he remarked.

Baron Indrajaja, the owner of Sanghyang Indah Resort in Banten, remarked that following the devastating Sunda Strait tsunami in December 2018, the number of tourists staying at his resort dropped drastically to less than 10 percent.

"It is very difficult for us to pay the salaries of our 110 employees, as we have hardly had guests over the last two months," he stated.

Meanwhile, in Jakarta on Monday, Minister Yahya lauded the contribution of hotels and restaurants in helping achieve the government`s tourist arrival target.

"Accommodation and culinary arts have become the largest revenue contributors to the Indonesian tourism sector, reaching 60 percent, comprising 40 percent from hotels and 20 percent from culinary," he pointed out.

Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants (PHRI) Hariyadi Sukamdani remarked that the total number of tourists arriving in Indonesia in 2018 had reached 15.8 million foreign travelers and 265 million domestic visitors.

The PHRI chairman is optimistic that the target of 20 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019 would be achieved through certain strategies.

"This year, we support the government by creating programs to increase hotel room and restaurant occupancies. More than that, we also plan strategies by offering hot deal products and intensifying business-to-business cooperation with major airlines and travel bureaus online," Sukamdani stated.

Reporting by Mulyana, Fardah

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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