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Indonesia's tourism industry faces massive layoffs

Over 20 percent of 4.41 million Indonesians working in the country's tourism industry may lose their jobs due to the fallout of the global financial routs, a paper base Jakarta said on Tuesday.

The global crisis has led foreign tourists cut spending and days of stay recently, the national statistic agency has said.

"We haven't calculated the exact figure, but no more than 20 percent of the total tourism workers will be affected," Harry Waluyo, director of the Culture and Tourism Ministry's Data and Network Center, was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying at the sideline of the International Conference on Tourism Statistics, which opened Monday.

The director said that workers directly employed in tourism establishments would face a bigger possibility of losing their jobs than those in tourism-related industries.

Tourism-related industries will be able to find alternative markets for their products, while tourism establishments, such as hotels, restaurants and tour operators, will certainly be hard-pressed once visitor numbers drop significantly.

Indonesia's tourism industry had just recovered from the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98 and the impact of terrorism.

(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2009)