SUARAJATIM.CO.ID– Early morning, Wednesday August 7th 2018, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya appreciated Indonesian National Armed Forces Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto. This is after getting information that the number of tourists and residents of Gili Trawangan has been handled well and smoothly. They have been transferred to Lombok and Bali.
“The number of tourists and residents of Gili Trawangan as many as 7,000 have been evacuated (3000 foreigners and 4000 local residents) are all safe, there are no casualties, the area has been cleared,” said the Commander who was invited as a quick response to tevacuate both foreign and local tourists from Gili islands.
Minister Arief also expressed his gratitude to Chief of Indonesian National Police, Police General Tito Karnavian, who continued to oversee the process of evacuating foreign tourists from Gili Trawangan and securing meeting points for the victims. The National Police sent Brimob troops from their Headquarter and East Java to Lombok.
“Thank you Indonesian Armed Forces and National Police, the handling is very good,” said Minister Arief Yahya. Safety and security are important things seen by the TTCI (Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index), the World Economic Forum. Good handling of emergency response will make Indonesia’s tourism competitiveness index stronger.
In particular, Tourism Minister also thanked Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi who is currently in Bali. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has flown directly to Lombok and provided a help desk number that can be reached at + 62-87864124151, for foreign assistance in Lombok. “I have checked the number and its accurate, excellent service,” said Minister Arief Yahya.
For those who have lost their passports, visa extension, please contact the help desk. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will assist, and there is no penalty for those who have over stay Visa. “Those who lost their passports will also be assisted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” added Arief Yahya.
The next step is recovery, both in terms of physical, buildings, and services. Emergency response process will take approximately 3 weeks, then followed with recovery. But he hopes that Lombok recovery can be much faster, as IMF World Annual Meeting 2018 will be held in Lombok in October 2018.
“Thank you, hopefully the recovery process in the future will also be faster,” said Arief, who had sent down the Crisis Center Team and this afternoon was conducting a Video Conference from the Sapta Pesona Building, 2nd floor, Ministry of Tourism Jakarta office. The Minister of Tourism also expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Transportation, who was acted quickly. Together with National Disaster Agency – Basarnas and Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management – BNPB sending ships to Gili Islands, both to Lombok and Bali. “All of my requests are about Access, almost all of them are fulfilled by the Ministry of Transportation, thank you Mr. Budi Karya Sumadi,” explained Arief Yahya.
Today, Tuesday August 7th 2018, the Ministry of Transportation also deployed 13 Damri buses, to add more land transportation assistance that has already been provided by the Ministry of Tourism through West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Board.
Menpar Arief Yahya also thanked BRI CSR, who has helped by providing all the evacuatuno equipment needed for the victims. “Thank you, President Director of BRI Suparjarto, who has supported with various basic needs for tourists and local residents in Lombok who were affected by the 7.0 SR scale earthquake. That means a lot to them, “said Arief Yahya.
He hoped that BRI would increase the stock of blanket, as a result of many tourists who stayed overnight in the open, needed blankets. “Please help foreign tourists who are still unable to fly, and lying in the open space,” pleaded Arief Yahya.
Snacks, instant food, are also very important, for tourists while still waiting for their flights. “Please help, they are very happy with Indonesian instant noodles. Mr. Guntur Sakti from Ministry of Tourism Crisis Center Team please followup with BRI, one of Wonderful Indonesia Co Branding partners. Prioritize for children, parents and women, “Arief Yahya hoped.
Lombok International Airport General Manager, I Gusti Ngurah Ardita also had time to communicate through Skype with Tourism Minister Arief Yahya. They have prepared more power outlets, free wifi, and operate 24 hours a day. “Thank you and well done. “There should be no more accumulation of people, immediately report if passengers piled up, we will contact airlines to add more flights to Lombok,” said Minister Arief.
“Don’t forget, entertain them while waiting at the Airport. Give music so that you can enjoy your holiday, even if there is a disaster, “said Arief Yahya, who has been closely monitoring this for 3 consecutive days non-stop to ensure access, amenities and attractions of Lombok are being put in place.
A German tourist also joined the video conference. Thank you, Minister, the hospitality and tourist service are very good! Excellent! We enjoy and are happy with all the hospitality in Lombok and the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism “he said. (*)