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May 20, 2015

Asia: Indonesia's Hotels Still Troubled by Government Guidelines on Meetings

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Although the Indonesian government has issued a clarification in late-March on its guidelines for the hosting of official events, which spelled out a need for greater accountability instead of an outright ban on events held in privately owned venues, hoteliers in the country are lamenting that the damage has been done to their business.

Hoteliers told TTGmice e-Weekly that government agencies had already cut their meeting and travel budgets for the year and it would take some time to apply for a revised budget.However some hoteliers are expecting to see a turnaround in government business by 3Q2015.

Meanwhile, hoteliers are devising ways to keep their meeting facilities filled.

JW Marriott Hotel Surabaya, for example, has come up with short-term offers for event and conference organisers who confirm a minimum of 10 guestrooms at Rp990,000 (US$75.60) per deluxe room.

Satriya Tanuwidjaja, the hotel’s director of sales, said such prices were unprecedented. “It is a challenging time. Apart from government regulations, the economic situation in general is also affecting corporate spending.”

Suprapti Suprobo, general manager of Dyandra Convention Center Surabaya, pointed out that the new regulation have hit companies involved in government projects, which also meant fewer meetings in commercial venues.

To ride out the poor situation, Linda Muhlis, board member of Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association Jakarta Chapter, suggested that hotels focus on drawing more domestic and regional business events that could be timed to coincide with Jakarta’s festivals such as the Jakarta Great Sale.

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