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LOMBOK - A number of tourism actors in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara are worried that the increase in tourist ticket prices to Komodo National Park (TN) could cause many tourists to cancel their visits.
"In August there will be around 80 guests who will come here (Labuan Bajo, ed) if they get an issue like this as a tourism actor, I'm worried," said the manager of Nusa Flores Wisata, Robert Waka from Labuan Bajo, quoted from Antara, Thursday, 30 June.
Robert assessed that the emergence of the discourse or issue not only made him as a tourist actor worried and worried, but almost all of his colleagues who were in the same profession were also worried about the same thing.
According to him, the government needs to reconsider the discourse, because Komodo National Park does not only function as a conservation area, but also as a tourist destination in NTT and Indonesia.
This means that all concepts, discourses and policies in this area have implications for various other sectors, especially tourism, economy, business, and so on.
"Tourism in Labuan Bajo has just flared up again after a two-year pandemic. Issues like this are enough to make us restless," he added.
Robert admitted to rejecting the discourse because the policy on increasing the price of KNP entrance tickets did not go through a joint study among existing stakeholders, both the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, KNP, Regional Government, Associations and Tourism Business Actors and others.
"The discourse of increasing ticket prices is more concerned with conservation purposes alone without considering the interests of other sectors that are also present and involved in the Komodo National Park area." he insisted.
This very significant increase in entrance tickets, he continued, will greatly affect the level of interest or tourist visits to Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park later.
"If this is still enforced, there will be many tour bookings that are pending or even canceled by tourists. As a result, it will affect the economic conditions of the perpetrators and the people in Labuan Bajo," he added.
The chairman of the DPD of the Indonesian Travel Agent Association (Astindo) Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, NTT Ignasius Suradin also stated the same thing and stated that the economy in Labuan Bajo had not recovered 100 percent after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"So it takes time for the economic recovery of the community, especially the tourism community who have been greatly affected by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly," he added.
He said that the discourse of increasing the entrance ticket to Komodo National Park is very much against the policies of the central government which is trying to restore the national economy, increase tourist visits, and travel within the country.