The Wonderful Indonesia Music Festival Crossborder Batam in Riau Islands on April 29 made a huge impact on the city’s economy, especially in the tourist sector.
It is estimated that some 34,000 hotel rooms were occupied over the weekend. With the addition of 900 tourists from Singapore attending the festival, restaurants, hotels and shops were overwhelmed with visitors.
“All of our rooms are fully booked until May 1,” said the executive secretary at the Golden View Hotel.
The tourists from Singapore contribute to hotel and restaurant tax. They also donated money to the local orphanage and the orphans in Batam,” said Sulaiman Sulaiman Shehdek from the Visit Indonesia Tourism Office in Singapore.
Some 900 Singaporean tourists, including people from the blind and visually impaired community, traveled to Batam, Riau Islands, on three ferries and 22 buses to attend the Wonderful Indonesia Music Festival Cross-Border Batam on April 29 at the Sumatra Expo Center Batam.
For an hour, the tourists were entertained by the Indonesian band Wali.
Apart from attending the concert, the tourists also arranged a Qasidah (a genre of Arabic-language poetry) performance in Sekupang district, a marching band performance by 100 school children and made a donation to the local orphanage. All of these activities were funded with their own money.
Riau Islands is known as a maritime tourist destination. It is among the most-visited places by foreign tourists in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Australia’s government said it will build a long-awaited second airport for Sydney after the operator of the city’s existing hub ruled out developing the project because of the “considerable” risks to shareholders.
Details of the plan for Western Sydney Airport will be unveiled in the budget next week, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The new airport will be a major catalyst for jobs and economic growth in the region and is a “vitally important project,” he said.
Sydney Airport Ltd., which operates Kingsford Smith Airport, was given first right of refusal to develop a second hub at Badgerys Creek after the government committed to the project in 2014. Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said earlier today the terms offered by the government didn’t meet the company’s investment criteria and that the risks would “endure for many decades without commensurate returns for our investors."
Successive governments have studied the need for a second airport in Sydney since the 1940s.
Kingsford Smith, which accounts for about 40 percent of Australia’s international and domestic services, will run out of capacity by 2037, costing the economy A$59.5 billion ($45 billion) in lost growth by 2060, according to government agency Infrastructure Australia.
Construction of the A$5 billion first stage of the second airport, which includes a single 3,700-meter runway, parallel taxiway and terminal buildings, is due to begin next year. Total development costs could reach A$38 billion, Infrastructure Australia says.
Sydney Airport has three months to review the terms on which the government develops the new hub itself, and can change its mind. Its shares declined 1.2 percent at 11 a.m. in Sydney, compared with a 0.3 percent fall for the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index.
The new airport will inject more than A$1.9 billion into the economy during construction and 60,000 jobs in the region in the long-term, Turnbull said.