Palembang, S Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA), South Sumatra Province, has temporarily closed tour package services to China following the coronavirus outbreak first spotted in Wuhan City, Hubei Province.

The temporary cessation of tour package services to China will remain in effect until further notice from Indonesia's government, the association's secretary board Ari Afrizal revealed in Palembang City, South Sumatra Province, on Tuesday.

Of the total 100 travel agents in South Sumatra, 10 have regularly sold tour packages to Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and some of China's touristy spots, including Shenzhen in Guangdong Province as well as Hainan, Afrizal expounded. Each travel agent will take at least three to four tourists on a monthly basis to China, he added.

On Monday (January 27), the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy issued a circular letter to Indonesia's travel agents to avoid countries affected with the Coronavirus and remain vigilant to tourists exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

On the same day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a travel advisory for Indonesian nationals planning to visit China.

"Indonesian citizens, who are still at home, should reconsider their plan to visit China and have the wisdom to select and respond to the circulating information related to the outbreak of 2019-nCoV," the acting spokesman of the ministry Teuku Faizasyah noted during a press briefing.

Despite the outbreak, Indonesia's government has yet to issue a travel ban to China.

Following the authority's notice, the ASITA office in South Sumatra has prompted its 100 members to not sell tour packages to China, but some travel agents decided to stop services to Singapore and Malaysia despite the Coronavirus also just been found in the two countries.

However, the travel agents may stop selling packages to Singapore and Malaysia when there is a travel notice from the Indonesia's authority, the association's secretary board remarked.


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Translator: Azis Munajar/Genta Tenri Mawan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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