Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Panjaitan agreed to postpone the planned increase in the price of entrance tickets to the Stupa area at Borobudur Temple.
The agreement was reached after he met with Luhut at the Central Java Governor’s Office House in Semarang, on Tuesday (7 June 2022).
“We postponed it first. Earlier, the Minister (Luhut Binsar Panjaitan) had said, ‘Sir Gub, we will postpone it first, so that the story doesn’t go anywhere’,” said Ganjar on Tuesday (June 7, 2022).
The government plans to introduce new tariffs to the Borobudur Temple area. Last weekend, Luhut Binsar announced the latest Borobudur ticket prices through his Instagram account.
“We also agreed to limit the tourist quota to 1,200 people per day, with a fee of 100 dollars for foreign tourists and 750 thousand rupiah for domestic tourists. Especially for students, we only charge 5,000 rupiah,” he said as quoted from his personal Instagram account @luhut.pandjaitan, Saturday (4 June 2022).
Luhut said the move was to protect the historical and cultural wealth of the archipelago.
He continued, all tourists must also use guides from residents around the Borobudur area.
“We are doing this in order to absorb new jobs while at the same time fostering a sense of belonging to this area so that a sense of responsibility to care for and preserve one of the historical sites of this archipelago can continue to grow in the hearts of young generations in the future,” said Luhut.
The announcement sparked protests from several quarters. One of them, YLKI.
Tulus Abadi, chairman of the YLKI Daily Committee, said that the government’s reason for increasing the tariff to protect temples was an inappropriate step.
“If the goal is only to preserve Borobudur, then don’t pay a high price,” he said in his Whatsapp status, Monday (June 6, 2022).
On the other hand, Tulus continued, the government could impose restrictions on the number of tourists and online ticket sales. Because, through online ticketing, the capacity of tourists is more controlled.
In addition, he also suggested that the government should give severe sanctions to tourists who damage or vandalize the temple. As a result of the protest, Ganjar Pranowo proposed a delay in the implementation of the increase in the price of entrance tickets to the Borobudur Stupa area.
The reason for the government to increase the entrance fee for Borobudur Temple
Some time ago, the Government through the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, conveyed a plan to increase the entrance fee for Borobudur Temple.
The tariff increase applies to domestic tourists of Rp. 750,000/ticket, while foreign tourists are charged a price of 100 US dollars. However, the rate increase does not apply to students who will still be charged a price of IDR 5000 per person.
So, why did the government suddenly increase the price of Borobudur Temple cultural tourism?
Protecting the Temple Building
The strongest reason is that Borobudur Temple is an asset of Indonesia and the world, so it must be preserved.
This policy was even made based on recommendations from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other experts.
“What does it mean, people who want to go up to the temple must really have an interest in going up to the temple. If people want to take pictures, they don’t have to go up to the temple, just go downstairs. So that’s the goal,” said Edy Setijono as President Director of the Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko (Persero) Temple Tourism Parks.
The government has realized the importance of conducting tourism conservation so that its sustainability can be maintained.
The increase in ticket prices is certainly not solely for commercial purposes, more than that, the government’s goal to increase the ticket price for Borobudur Temple is based on tourism conservation. That is why the ticket price for students is still fairly reasonable, at 5,000 per person.
“As a form of our alignment with the world of education, for students it is only set at Rp. 5 thousand. This is the answer why it’s expensive, as if so commercial. No, not commercial, the reasons vary. Therefore, for students, it is only Rp. 5 thousand,” continued Edy.
Providing Opportunities for Local Communities
The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, stated that with the increase in ticket prices to the temple building, there would be many possibilities for tourists to travel around the temple area. So according to Luhut, MSME actors will have a positive impact.
Luhut hopes that by spreading tourists around the temple, it will be able to help the local economy. Not only that, the government is also trying to create new jobs for local residents, by empowering recording as a tour guide.
“All tourists will also have to use tour guides from local residents around the Borobudur area, this is done in order to absorb new jobs while at the same time fostering a sense of belonging to this area,” Luhut explained.