Domestic tourism soars in China but foreigners stay away

BBC/KATHERINA TSE A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing
A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing

With the Chinese economy facing massive challenges, there have been concerns over its growth potential, at least in the immediate future.

Yet a key exception is emerging in the form of domestic tourism.

Last week’s five-day public holiday to mark labour day saw 295 million trips made within China, according to figures from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This was 28% higher than pre-pandemic figures recorded in 2019.

The Transport Ministry’s figures are also staggering: 92 million rail trips; almost 10 million air trips and 1.25 billion highway journeys.

However, this comes as international arrivals continue to lag, with foreigners currently entering China at barely 30% of 2019 levels. Why the disparity?

The beautiful historical river town of Wuzhen, a short drive from Shanghai, is considered one of China’s top visitor sites for travellers of all types. When we arrive the little pathways and old bridges which cross narrow waterways are filled with visitors.

A popular thing to do in Wuzhen is to pose for photos dressed in traditional hanfu clothing – as if you have really been transported back hundreds of years.

Two women in their 20s, friends since high school, are visiting from Jilin Province in the north east. After arriving, they spend an hour getting their hair done in an elaborate imperial-era style – and they are full of praise for Wuzhen’s classical beauty.

We ask if, following the post-Covid opening up, many of their family and other friends have been travelling much? “Of course, after the pandemic, we’re all visiting other places.”

Nearby a local man who is selling ice-creams also says tourist numbers are “not that bad lately”.

As good as before Covid? “Almost the same,” he replies.

Shopkeeper Wang Ying, who sells traditional snacks, echoes this sentiment with a big smile on her face. “Business is going well, and it’ll only get better.”

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Wuzhen is considered one of China's top visitor sites
Wuzhen is considered one of China’s top visitor sites

All this will be seen as good news for the Chinese government. It’s been saying that a push on domestic consumption can counter the significant faltering portions of the economy.

Major players in the once-mighty property sector are struggling to stay afloat, local government debt continues to rise, and persistent youth unemployment has left highly qualified university graduates uncertain of their future.

Amid all these challenges, the Communist Party has set a target of “around 5%” GDP growth for this year. Apart from the fact that analysts have long questioned the veracity of the country’s official growth figures, economists are also asking how such a target can be reached, in any genuine sense, in 2024 without significant extra stimulus.

One lifeline could be a more buoyant travel scene which could bring broader business opportunities and greater service industry employment.

Schubert Lou, chief operating officer at travel agency Trip.com, told the BBC: “We’ve seen very strong domestic travel demand with search volumes in hotels up 67% compared to last year, and flight volumes up 80%.”

Tourism industry consultant Peng Han from Travel Daily is following the investment trail to see how the business community really views the possibilities in the sector.

“With famous international hotel brands – like Intercontinental, Marriott and Hilton – you just have to look at their growth in China in 2023,” he says. “Then check the performance goals for these large hotel groups in 2024 which have also been set relatively high. This shows that they are very optimistic about the growth potential of the Chinese market.”

But, while the volume of local travellers might be up, Mr Peng does point to the problem of per capita consumption which remains persistently low.

He says general uncertainty about the Chinese economy is putting more emphasis on saving, so people are looking for good value options. They are going on holidays and paying for things but doing so much more frugally.

This is where an increase in big-spending foreigners could help. But they are simply not travelling to China in the numbers they used to.

In 2019, nearly 98 million international visitors came to the country. Last year it was only 35 million – including business trips, students and the like. Mr Lou describes the domestic versus international market as “uneven”.

For many in the tourism industry here specialising in services for foreign travellers, “uneven” would be an understatement. Three years of harsh Covid prevention measures drove down arrivals from other countries, but that alone can’t account for the current situation.

Huang Songshan, the head of the Centre for Tourism Research in the School of Business and Law at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, blames this weakness in part to “the shifting geopolitical landscape globally”.

Getty Images Chinese performer
China’s culture and heritage has traditionally been a big draw for tourists

In the peer-reviewed East Asia Forum, he pointed to a 2023 survey carried out by the Pew Research Centre, writing that, “Most individuals in Western nations hold unfavourable views towards China. The Chinese government’s tightening grip on societal regulations could potentially cause discomfort for foreign travellers in China.”

Official travel advice from some governments echo this sentiment, at times quite harshly.

Washington warns potential travellers to “reconsider travel to Mainland China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions”.

Australia advises “a high degree of caution” warning that “Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention or harsh enforcement of local laws, including broadly defined National Security Laws”.

The political environment has also taken a toll on flight availability and price. This is especially the case with connections to and from North America. Last month’s 332 scheduled round trips between China and the US contrasts with 1,506 in April 2019.

As a result, finding a seat on a direct flight can be extremely difficult and those that are available are very expensive.

President Xi Jinping made a speech at a dinner on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco last November addressing this point. “Today, President Biden and I reached important consensus,” he told the crowd.

“Our two countries will roll out more measures to facilitate travels and promote people-to-people exchanges, including increasing direct passenger flights, holding a high-level dialogue on tourism, and streamlining visa application procedures. We hope that our two peoples will make more visits, contacts and exchanges and write new stories of friendship in the new era.”

Washington has since increased the number of Chinese airline flights permitted to land – but only from 35 per week to 50. It is still well short of the 150 weekly trips pre-Covid.

The Biden administration is coming under pressure from unions and US airlines to not increase this any further because, they argue, Chinese airlines have an unfair advantage over them as they have state support; don’t face the same onerous Chinese regulations; and, crucially, can fly over Russian airspace, making trips shorter and cheaper.

A letter to the US government from the Chair of the House Committee on China, Mike Gallagher, and the committee’s top Democrat representative, Raja Krishnamoorthi, reads: “Should the US-China passenger carrier market expand without the US government addressing these significant issues, US aviation workers, travellers and airlines will pay a hefty price tag.”

Mr Lou says the frequency of international flight connections is definitely having an impact.

“What we are seeing right now, based on civil aviation data, is that inbound flight capacity won’t get back to even 80% of 2019 [levels] by the end of 2024.”

Then there are other potential turnoffs for those considering travelling in China, like the country’s state-of-the-art phone app payment and booking systems which work very smoothly for Chinese citizens and residents, but which can be an enormous headache if you have just arrived.

There are certain sites, transport options, and purchases which can only be accessed via Chinese electronic apps which are, at times, only available in Chinese.

Professor Chen Yong at Switzerland’s EHL Hospitality Business School is an authority on the economics of tourism in China. He thinks that hurdles relating to payment and booking apps can pose a real problem.

“Technologies such as social network websites, online maps, payment apps, among others, which foreigners have long been accustomed to using, are either unavailable or inaccessible when they travel to China,” he says.

“On the other hand, there are Chinese alternatives to these technologies that remain inaccessible to foreigners due to language barriers and differences in user habits. We need to bridge this divide because it affects the tourist industry badly.”

Back in Wuzhen, the presence of international travellers is much smaller than in years gone by, but there are still a few foreign faces in the crowd.

An Italian couple says the process of linking up to and using China’s payment apps was a challenge but that it was not insurmountable, though they add, with a laugh, that it is “much, much, much easier” if you have a Chinese friend to help you.

BBC/KATHERINA TSE Woman and child pose for selfies
Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are trying to turn this around

Eliseo, from California, says he has had problems making payments to small vendors who don’t accept credit cards and really no longer deal with cash. Another hurdle for him has been his bank at home which has blocked some payments, flagging them as potentially fraudulent coming from China.

Chinese officials have acknowledged that the foreign traveller numbers have been low but they are now trying to turn this around.

One way they’re attempting to attract more foreign visitors is by increasing the number of countries whose citizens don’t need a visa to enter. Trip.com says this resulted in an almost immediate increase in passenger arrivals from Southeast Asia.

In 23 Chinese cities, transit passengers from more than 50 countries are also able to stay for a few days visa free if they have an onward ticket. In Shanghai, hotels above a three-star level have been told that they should prepare to deal with international credit cards and an initial batch of 50 taxis have also started accepting them.

However, Professor Chen says “it would be too optimistic to envision a long-term growth in China’s inbound tourism”.

“The key is to establish a culture that puts service providers in the shoes of foreign tourists. They should imagine themselves being a foreigner who can’t speak or read Chinese and who doesn’t have a Chinese mobile number, payments apps and so on.”

He says that the culture around this can’t be changed overnight.

Yet, in places like Wuzhen – where the local travellers have already returned – the tourism companies are hoping that incredible sites like theirs will eventually be too much for foreigners to resist as well.

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Baltimore sues owner and manager of ‘unseaworthy’ Dali over bridge collapse

Getty Images An aerial view the morning after the bridge collapseGetty ImagesThe Dali was a ‘clearly unseaworthy’ ship with ‘an incompetent crew’, the city of Baltimore argued in a lawsuit filed Monday

Baltimore has sued the operators of the container ship that hit and destroyed one of the US city’s main bridges last month, killing six people.

The city says the Dali was “clearly unseaworthy” and accuses its owners and manager of negligence.

The ship’s Singapore-based owner and manager have already asked a court to limit their liability.

The region is reeling from the closure of its busiest maritime transit port after the span collapsed on 26 March.

“None of this should have happened,” attorneys representing the Baltimore mayor and city council argued in a federal lawsuit.

The city is asking the US District Court of Maryland for a jury trial to hold the defendants fully liable.

Naming the Dali’s owner, Grace Ocean Private Limited, and its manager, Synergy Marine Private Limited, the suit alleges the Francis Scott Key Bridge’s collapse was a direct result of their “gross negligence, and recklessness, and as a result of the unseaworthiness of the Vessel”.

On 1 April, Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine petitioned the same federal court in Maryland to cap its responsibility for the incident.

Citing a pre-Civil War maritime law, the pair of companies estimated their liability for the vessel and the cargo’s value at $43.6m (£35m).

Monday’s court filing from the city of Baltimore rebuts that number as “substantially less than the amount that will be claimed for losses and damages arising out of the Dali’s allision with the Key Bridge”.

The path taken by the cargo ship – which was exiting the Port of Baltimore under the Key Bridge – is “no stranger to large freighters”, the city’s representatives wrote.

They said the vessel “had been experiencing an inconsistent power supply” that was either not investigated or not fixed.

“The Dali left port anyway, despite its clearly unseaworthy condition,” said the lawsuit.

The filing also says the Dali was manned by “an incompetent crew that was inattentive to its duties” and “lacked proper training”.

Contains upsetting scenes.Tracking data shows the path of the Dali container towards the bridge

On Friday, port officials opened a third temporary channel for boats to enter and exit the corridor, but these channels can only sustain about 15% of pre-collapse commercial activity.

A fourth channel, that will allow most traffic back into the port, is expected to open by the end of the month.

Darrell Wilson, an attorney who represents Synergy Marine and is also handling media inquiries on behalf of Grace Ocean, told the BBC it would be inappropriate to comment on the litigation while federal investigations into the collapse were ongoing.

New drone video shows close-up view of debris from the Baltimore bridge collapse

Six construction workers who were fixing potholes died when the bridge collapsed. Two of the bodies have yet to be recovered.

Workers are still extracting thousands of tonnes of debris from the water and from atop the stationary Dali, whose original schedule would have seen it arrive at a Sri Lankan port on Monday.

Apart from two of the ship’s pilots, 21 crew members – almost all of whom are of Indian origin – remain on the ship. There is no timeline yet for when the crew will disembark or head back to sea.

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UN rights chief ‘horrified’ by mass grave reports at Gaza hospitals

Reuters Palestinian civil defence workers dig mounds of earth in the grounds of Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip (21 April 2024)ReutersPalestinian workers are exhuming bodies at Nasser hospital with shovels because they have no heavy machinery

The UN’s human rights chief has said he is “horrified” by the destruction of Gaza’s Nasser and al-Shifa hospitals and the reports of “mass graves” being found at the sites after Israeli raids.

Volker Türk called for independent investigations into the deaths.

Palestinian officials said they had exhumed the bodies of almost 300 people at Nasser. It is not clear how they died or when they were buried.

Israel’s military said claims that it buried bodies there were “baseless”.

But it did say that during a two-week operation at the hospital in the city of Khan Younis in February, troops “examined” bodies buried by Palestinians “in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages”.

Ten hostages who have now been released have said that they were held at Nasser hospital for long periods during their captivity.

Prior to the Israeli operation at Nasser, staff there had said they were being forced to bury bodies in the hospital’s courtyard because nearby fighting prevented access to cemeteries. There were similar reports from al-Shifa before the first Israeli raid on the hospital took place in November.

The Israeli military has said it has raided a number of hospitals in Gaza during the war because Hamas fighters have been operating inside them – a claim Hamas and medical officials have denied.

The war began when Hamas gunmen carried out an unprecedented cross-border attack on southern Israel on 7 October, killing about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and taking 253 others back to Gaza as hostages.

More than 34,180 people – most of them children and women – have been killed in Gaza since then, the territory’s Hamas-run health ministry says.

A spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office said it was currently working on corroborating reports from Palestinian officials that 283 bodies had been found in Nasser hospital’s grounds, including 42 which had been identified.

“Victims had reportedly been buried deep in the ground and covered with waste,” Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

“Among the deceased were allegedly older people, women and wounded, while others… were found with their hands tied and stripped of their clothes.”

Mr Türk called for independent, effective and transparent investigations into the deaths, adding: “Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators.”

“Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law. And the intentional killing of civilians, detainees, and others who are hors de combat [not participating in hostilities] is a war crime.”

On Monday, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Civil Defense force told BBC Arabic’s Gaza Today programme that it had received reports from local Palestinians that the bodies of a “large number” of people who had been killed during the war and buried in a makeshift cemetery in the hospital’s courtyard were moved to another location during the Israeli raid.

“After research and investigation, we learned that the occupation [Israeli] army had established a mass grave, pulled out the bodies that were in Nasser hospital, and buried them in this mass grave,” Mahmoud Basal said.

Gaza Today also spoke to a man who said he was searching there for the bodies of two male relatives which he alleged had been taken by Israeli troops during Israel’s recently concluded offensive in Khan Younis.

“After I had buried them in an apartment, the [Israelis] came and moved their bodies,” he said. “Every day we search for their bodies, but we fail to find them.”

Hamas has alleged that the bodies include people “executed in cold blood” by Israeli forces, without providing evidence.

Contains some violence and disturbing scenes.BBC Verify authenticates video from key moments in the story of Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on Tuesday: “The claim that the IDF buried Palestinian bodies is baseless and unfounded.”

“During the IDF’s operation in the area of Nasser Hospital, in accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser hospital were examined.

“The examination was conducted in a careful manner and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages. The examination was carried out respectfully while maintaining the dignity of the deceased. Bodies examined, which did not belong to Israeli hostages, were returned to their place.”

The IDF said that its forces had detained “about 200 terrorists who were in the hospital” during the raid, and that they found ammunition as well as unused medicines intended for Israeli hostages.

It also insisted that the raid was carried out “in a targeted manner and without harming the hospital, the patients and the medical staff”.

However, three medical staff told the BBC last month that they were humiliated, beaten, doused with cold water, and forced to kneel for hours after being detained during the raid.

Medics who remained at Nasser after the Israeli takeover said they were unable to care for patients and that 13 died because of conditions there, including a lack of water, electricity and other supplies.

Reuters Palestinian officials tape off the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City as workers search for human remains (8 April 2024)ReutersThe UN Human Rights Office said it had received reports that 30 bodies were buried in the courtyard of al-Shifa hospital

On 1 April, Israeli troops withdrew from al-Shifa hospital, which is in Gaza City, following what the IDF said was another “precise” operation carried out in response to intelligence that Hamas had regrouped there.

The IDF said at the time that 200 “terrorists” were killed in and around the hospital during the two-week raid. More than 500 others were detained, and weapons and intelligence were found “throughout the hospital”, it added.

After a mission gained access to the facility five days later, the World Health Organization (WHO) said al-Shifa was “now an empty shell”, with most of the buildings extensively damaged or destroyed, and the majority of equipment unusable or reduced to ashes.

It also said that “numerous shallow graves” had been dug just outside the emergency department, and the administrative and surgical buildings, and that “many dead bodies were partially buried with their limbs visible”.

The IDF also said it had avoided harm to patients at al-Shifa. But the WHO cited the acting hospital director as saying patients were held in abysmal conditions during the siege, and that at least 20 patients reportedly died due to a lack of access to care and limited movement authorised for medics.

Spokeswoman Ms Shamdasani said reports seen by the UN human rights office suggested that a total of 30 bodies were buried in the two graves and that 12 of them had been identified so far.

Gaza’s civil defence spokesman told CNN on 9 April that 381 bodies had been recovered from the vicinity of al-Shifa, but that the figure did not include people buried in the hospital’s grounds.

The UN human rights chief also deplored as “beyond warfare” a series of Israeli strikes on the southern city of Rafah in the past few days, which he said had killed mostly women and children.

The strikes included one on Saturday night, after which a premature baby was delivered from the womb of her pregnant mother, who was killed along with her husband and other daughter.

Mr Türk also again warned against a full-scale Israeli ground assault on Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced civilians are sheltering, saying it would lead to further breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

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Update: Aman, 3 Relawan Indonesia Di Gaza Menanti Evakuasi

Tiga relawan MER-C di Gaza, [dari kiri] Fikri Rofiul Haq, Reza Aldilla Kurniawan, dan Farid Zanzabil Al Ayubi. [Foto Dokumentasi: MER-C]
Tiga relawan MER-C di Gaza, [dari kiri] Fikri Rofiul Haq, Reza Aldilla Kurniawan, dan Farid Zanzabil Al Ayubi. [Foto Dokumentasi: MER-C]

RM.id  Rakyat Merdeka – Tiga relawan Indonesia di Rumah Sakit Indonesia (RSI) di Gaza, saat ini, Rabu (22/11/2023) sedang menunggu evakuasi untuk menuju ke tempat yang aman. Mereka adalah Fikri Rofiul Haq, Reza Aldilla Kurniawan dan Farid Zanzabil Al Ayubi.

Namun berdasarkan percakapan terkini wartawan Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) bersama tim Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C) dengan relawan Reza Ardilla dari Gaza, terkonfirmasi mereka berada dalam kondisi aman, dan kini menunggu evakuasi.

“Ketiga relawan saat ini sedang menunggu evakuasi,” demikian keterangan MER-C kepada MINA, Rabu (12/11) sore.

Sebelumnya diberitakan, dua relawan MER-C disandera pasukan Israel dalam gempuran militer Zionis Israel lebih lanjut usai seluruh pasien dan petugas medis RS Indonesia Gaza dievakuasi selama empat jam pada Rabu (22/11/2023) pagi dimulai pukul 08.00 waktu setempat, berdasarkan informasi dari kontributor Palestina Today.

Sebanyak 2.600 pasien, warga sipil yang mengungsi, dan staf medis, masih berada di dalam Rumah Sakit Indonesia yang dikepung Israel di Jalur Gaza utara menunggu proses evakuasi.

Termasuk di dalamnya sekitar 400 orang yang terluka dan pendamping mereka masih berada di dalam rumah sakit Indonesia, selain 200 personel medis dan sekitar 2.000 pengungsi. RS Indonesia dikepung dan diserang militer Israel sejak Ahad (19/11/2023) lalu.

Israel juga melancarkan berbagai serangan ke fasilitas kesehatan lain di Gaza, termasuk RS Al Shifa, rumah sakit terbesar di wilayah itu.https://merujaksore.com/wp-admin

Awasi Harga Tiket Pesawat

Ingat Nih, Menhub Tak Segan Berikan Sanksi

Menteri Perhubungan Budi Karya Sumadi meninjau sarana dan prasarana transportasi udara di Bandara Soekarno-Hatta, Tangerang dalam rangka kesiapan Angkutan Lebaran 2024,
Menteri Perhubungan Budi Karya Sumadi meninjau sarana dan prasarana transportasi udara di Bandara Soekarno-Hatta, Tangerang dalam rangka kesiapan Angkutan Lebaran 2024,

RM.id  Rakyat Merdeka – Kementerian Perhubungan (Kemenhub) mengingatkan maskapai mengikuti regulasi yang berlaku terkait penetapan harga tiket pesawat selama musim mudik Lebaran 2024.

MENTERI Perhubungan (Men­hub) Budi Karya Sumadi me­mastikan akan menindak mas­kapai yang ketahuan menaikkan tarif tiket pesawat melebihi Tarif Batas Atas (TBA).

BKS-sapaan akrab Budi Karya Sumadi, mengaku tidak akan segan-segan memberi sanksi kepada maskapai yang melanggar ketentuan batas harga tiket pesawat.

“Saya sudah ingatkan kepada para maskapai agar tidak men­jual tiket pesawat melebihi batas. Nanti akan ada sanksi bagi yang melanggar,” tegas BKS dalam keterangan resminya di Jakarta, Sabtu (30/3/2024).

Karena itu, dia mengimbau kepada masyarakat yang akan mudik menggunakan transpor­tasi udara agar berangkat ketika H-10 hingga H-5 Lebaran.

Hal ini dilakukan untuk meng­hindari kenaikan tarif tiket yang semakin tinggi menjelang hari raya Idul Fitri.

Selain itu, sebagai antisipasi menghindari penumpukan yang terjadi di bandara.

“H-4 dan H-3 itu yang ter­tinggi tarif tiketnya. Dengan dasar itu, kami minta melakukan penerbangan dari H-10 sampai H-5,” imbaunya.

Eks Dirut Angkasa Pura ll ini mengungkapkan, sebenarnya ke­luhan harga tiket pesawat mahal banyak berasal dari penumpang kelas bisnis.

Padahal, menurut BKS, bu­kan kewenangan Kemenhub mengatur harga tiket kelas pe­sawat kelas bisnis. Melainkan, menjadi kewenangan maskapai sepenuhnya.

“Kalau kelas bisnis itu nggak ada TBA-nya. Jadi, maskapai penerbangan berhak untuk menetapkan sendiri,” tegasnya.

Ketentuan TBA dan Tarif Batas Bawah (TBB) yang diatur Kemenhub, lanjutnya, hanya berlaku untuk tiket pesawat kelas ekonomi.

Karena itu, Kemenhub tidak dapat menindak jika ada laporan harga tiket pesawat mahal, tetapi ternyata kelas bisnis.

“Kalau ekonomi kewenangan kami dan kami akan lakukan improvement sesuai peraturan,” tuturnya.

BKS memastikan, sejauh ini belum ada maskapai yang me­langgar aturan TBA di musim mudik Lebaran tahun ini.

Ketua umum Asosiasi Peng­guna Jasa Penerbangan Indone­sia (APJAPI) Alvin Lie mengatakan, 77 persen penumpang pesawat di Indonesia menganggap harga tiket masih wajar. Kategori ini wajar, murah dan sangat murah.

Menurut Alvin, hanya 23 persen penumpang yang menganggap harga tiket pesawat di Indonesia mahal dan sangat mahal.

APJAPI memperoleh kesim­pulan tersebut setelah melaku­kan penyebaran 7.400 kuesioner pada penumpang pada akhir tahun 2023 sampai dengan awal tahun 2024 di bandara-bandara Indonesia.

“Para penumpang tersebut telah memegang boarding pass, artinya mereka benar-benar masyarakat yang akan terbang, bukan masyarakat umum,” kata Alvin.

Alvin mengungkapkan, ternyata 91 persen penumpang pesawat tidak mengetahui ada komponen harga tiket selain tarif.

Padahal, di dalam komponen harga tiket tersebut terdapat biaya-biaya lain seperti PJP2U atau Passenger Service Charge (PSC) untuk pengelola bandara, pajak dan iuran wajib penerbangan untuk pemerintah.

Dalam kondisi harga bahan bakar avtur yang tinggi, juga akan ada tambahan fuel sur­charge pada tiket.

Tambahan biaya-biaya terse­but yang membuat harga tiket pesawat bisa menjadi mahal.

Dalam kondisi itu, masyarakat selalu menyatakan hal tersebut adalah tanggung jawab maskapai penerbangan.

Menurut Alvin, diperlukan sosialisasi dan edukasi terhadap masyarakat terkait hal-hal terse­but, sehingga masyarakat se­makin paham dengan tanggung jawab masing-masing pihak dalam bisnis penerbangan.

Ketua Dewan Pembina Indonesia National Air Carriers Association (INACA) yang juga Di­rektur Utama Garuda Indonesia Irfan Setiaputra tidak terkejut dengan hal tersebut.

Menurutnya, para penumpang pesawat sebenarnya sebagian besar adalah orang mampu.

“Orang Indonesia yang naik pesawat itu hanya sekitar 5 juta orang. Karena, mereka naik pesawat beberapa kali pulang pergi, sehingga jumlah penum­pang menjadi puluhan hingga ratusan juta,” ujarnya.

Di sisi lain, kata Irfan, indus­tri penerbangan adalah indus­tri berteknologi canggih yang pengoperasiannya perlu biaya tinggi.

Jadi, tidak relevan lagi jika tarif penerbangan masih diatur Pemerintah seperti saat ini. Se­bab, hal ini dapat menyulitkan perkembangan industri pener­bangan dan menyulitkan pening­katan layanan pada penumpang.

Sementara, Ketua Umum INACA Denon Prawiraatmadja menilai, sosialisasi dan edukasi perlu terus menerus dilakukan dengan kerja sama semua pi­hak baik maskapai, bandara, Pemerintah maupun asosiasi masyarakat.

“Perlu kerja sama dalam so­sialisasi dan edukasi pada ma­syarakat sehingga dapat mendu­kung operasional penerbangan lebih efektif dan efisien. Pada akhirnya, hasilnya nanti juga untuk peningkatan layanan pada masyarakat,” tandasnya.https://merujaksore.com/wp-admin

Satelit Merah Putih 2 Diluncurkan, Akses Konektivitas Makin Joss

Peluncuran Satelit Merah Putih 2 (Foto: Space X)
Peluncuran Satelit Merah Putih 2 (Foto: Space X)

RM.id  Rakyat Merdeka – PT Telkom Indonesia bersama anak usahanya, Telkomsat, berhasil meluncurkan Satelit Merah Putih 2. Peluncuran itu dilakukan di Cape Canaveral, Florida, Amerika Serikat (AS), Selasa (20/2) pukul 15.11 waktu setempat, atau Rabu (21/2) pukul 03.11 WIB. Dengan peluncuran satelit ini, jaringan konektivitas internet di Tanah Air akan semakin joss.

Direktur Utama Telkom Indonesia Ririek Adriansyah bersyukur Satelit Merah Putih 2 berhasil diluncurkan dengan lancar. Menurut dia, peluncuran ini merupakan tonggak penting bagi TelkomGroup, khususnya dalam mendukung terwujudnya pemerataan akses konektivitas di seluruh Indonesia, bahkan di daerah tertinggal, terdepan, dan terluar (3T).

“Keberadaan Satelit Merah Putih 2 ini juga menjadi fondasi yang memperkuat portofolio bisnis satelit TelkomGroup yang dijalankan Telkomsat,” kata Ririek, saat konferensi pers peluncuran Satelit Merah Putih 2, secara virtual, Rabu (21/2/2024).

Ririek mengatakan, satelit tersebut akan mulai beroperasi pada April 2024. “Sampai di final orbit 3 Maret, melakukan in orbit butuh waktu test 3-4 minggu. Satelit Merah Putih 2 akan siap digunakan awal April 2024,” terangnya.

Menurut Ririek, satelit ini akan dimanfaatkan untuk membantu pemerataan digital di Indonesia melalui penyediaan layanan backhaul berbasis satelit, mengembangkan bisnis maritim, dan mendukung kedaulatan data dengan mengurangi kebergantungan kapasitas satelit asing.

Satelit Merah Putih 2 merupakan satelit ke-11, sekaligus satelit pertama TelkomGroup yang menggunakan teknologi High Throughput Satellite (HTS) atau yang juga dikenal dengan broadband satelit. Satelit ini diluncurkan dengan roket Falcon 9 dan akan menempati slot orbit 113 derajat Bujur Timur (113 BT).

Direktur Wholesale & International Service Telkom, Bogi Witjaksono mengatakan, setidaknya ada tiga misi yang ingin dibawa Satelit Merah Putih 2. Pertama, meningkatkan ketahanan infrastruktur digital nasional untuk mendukung pemerataan konektivitas di seluruh Indonesia.

Kedua, mengamankan dan mempertahankan slot orbit Indonesia di 113 BT. Ketiga, memperkuat portofolio bisnis satelit melalui peningkatan kapasitas internal dari 10 Gbps (Satelit Telkom 3S dan Satelit Merah Putih) menjadi 42.4 Gbps.

Direktur Utama Telkomsat, Lukman Hakim Abd Rauf menambahkan, teknologi HTS merupakan teknologi dengan desain cakupan area di bumi yang berukuran kecil. Namun, banyak (multi-spots beam), sehingga mampu menghasilkan kekuatan pancar satelit yang besar di suatu area yang dilingkupi beam tersebut. Kekuatan pancar satelit ini identik dengan besaran data yang mampu dikirim satelit ke lokasi tersebut.

“Satelit broadband ini memungkinkan sumber daya frekuensi yang dapat digunakan berulang (frequency reuseable), sehingga hal ini berpotensi untuk menaikkan jumlah kapasitas yang dimiliki satelit HTS,” jelas Lukman.

Terkait dengan proses pemilihan mitra dan pengadaan satelit, Lukman menegaskan, hal tersebut telah dilakukan sesuai dengan asas kepatuhan (compliance) dan prinsip tata kelola perusahaan yang baik. Selain itu, dari aspek bisnis, proses pemilihan mitra juga telah mempertimbangkan biaya per Gbps yang paling rendah sehingga menghasilkan satelit dengan kapasitas lebih besar dengan harga jual yang kompetitif.

Dengan kapasitas hingga 32Gbps, Satelit Merah Putih 2 membawa transponder aktif frekuensi C-band dan Ku-band, yang akan menjangkau seluruh area Indonesia. Dengan posisi Indonesia di kawasan khatulistiwa, yang memiliki curah hujan tinggi, satelit ini diharapkan dapat menjadi satelit HTS atau broadband satellite paling andal (reliable). Hal ini dikarenakan kombinasi kedua frekuensi yang dimiliki, dengan frekuensi C-Band adalah frekuensi yang memiliki performa terbaik di tengah curah hujan.https://merujaksore.com/wp-admin

Ini Jam Besuk Keluarga Tahanan di Momen Lebaran

Juru Bicara Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Ali Fikri (kanan). (Foto: Tedy Kroen/Rakyat Merdeka)
Juru Bicara Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Ali Fikri (kanan). (Foto: Tedy Kroen/Rakyat Merdeka)

RM.id  Rakyat Merdeka – Juru Bicara Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Ali Fikri mengatakan pihaknya memberikan keleluasaan kepada keluarga tahanan yang ingin menjenguk di momen Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1445 Hijriah.

Kata Ali, KPK telah mengatur jam besuk kepada keluarga tahanan koruptor. Hal ini sebagaimana yang telah diterapkan KPK di tahun-tahun sebelumnya.

“Di setiap perayaan hari keagamaan nasional Rutan Cabang KPK memberikan layanan berupa fasilitasi untuk mempertemukan dan silaturahim antar-keluarga inti dengan para tahanan, dalam bentuk layanan kunjungan tatap muka dan penerimaan pengiriman makanan,” kata Ali Fikri, Senin (8/4/2024).

Ali menerangkan jadwal kunjungan di Rutan Cabang KPK adalah sebagai berikut:

1. Rabu (10/4) / 1 Syawal 1445 H pukul 10.00-12.00 WIB.

2. Kamis (11/4) 2 Syawal 1445 H pukul 10.00-12.00 WIB.

Rutan KPK juga memfasilitasi pihak keluarga yang hendak mengirimkan makanan bagi tahanan di dua tanggal tersebut dengan jadwal penerimaan makanan dimulai pukul 08.00-09.30 WIB.

Lebih lanjut Ali menjelaskan, dalam rangka menjaga dan mempertahankan integritas dari para petugas Rutan Cabang KPK, lembaga antirasuah mengingatkan dua hal kepada pembesuk.

Pertama, petugas Rutan Cabang KPK, tidak menerima pemberian dalam bentuk apapun baik uang, barang dan / atau fasilitasnya dari para pengunjung tahanan, keluarga tahanan, penasihat hukum dan / atau orang lain yang berhubungan dengan tahanan.

Sedangkan yang kedua, apabila mendapati ada temuan oknum Rutan Cabang KPK yang meminta, memeras hingga memaksa untuk segera melapor ke Pengaduan Masyarakat KPK melalui (021) 25578300, call center 198, Website : https://kws.kpk.go,id, email : [email protected] maupun melalui WhatsApp 0811959575.https://merujaksore.com/wp-admin

Eks Penyidik Dapat Info, Bukan Cuma SYL Yang Jadi Korban Pemerasan Oknum KPK

Gedung KPK (Foto: Ist)
Gedung KPK (Foto: Ist)

RM.id  Rakyat Merdeka – Mantan penyidik Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Novel Baswedan mengaku memperoleh informasi soal dugaan pemerasan yang dilakukan oknum KPK terhadap kepala daerah. 

Hal itu disampaikan Novel dalam siniar podcast ‘BOCORAN!!! Tak Hanya Mentan, Ada Juga Kepala Daerah yang Diperas?’ yang tayang di akun YouTubenya, Jumat (13/10/2023).

“Saya mendapat informasi ada seorang kepala daerah yang juga menjadi korban pemerasan,” ujar Novel dalam podcast bersama Bambang Widjojanto dan peneliti ICW Kurnia Ramadhana tersebut.

Novel menduga, sudah banyak pihak yang menjadi korban pemerasan oknum di KPK.

“Dari informasi yang kami peroleh itu artinya dugaan sangat keras bahwa korban-korban pemerasan itu banyak,” tuturnya.

“Tapi, yang lebih menarik gini, ketika tadi saya katakan ada pemerasan yang itu merupakan level kejahatan korupsi yang tertinggi, kewenangan digunakan untuk meras, berarti paling nggak yang lainnya berani lah. Kalau seperti itu, saya sangat yakin kalau perbuatan ini sering dilakukan,” tandasnya. 

Saat ini, Polda Metro Jaya tengah membuka penyidikan kasus dugaan pemerasan oleh pimpinan KPK terkait penanganan kasus dugaan korupsi di Kementerian Pertanian (Kementan) RI.

Belasan saksi, termasuk mantan Menteri Pertanian Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL) dan ajudan Ketua KPK Firli Bahuri bernama Kevin Egananta Joshuaz sudah diperiksa oleh tim penyidik gabungan Sub-Direktorat V Tindak Pidana Korupsi Direktorat Reserse Kriminal Khusus Polda Metro Jaya.

Kevin akan diperiksa kembali pada Rabu, 18 Oktober 2023 mendatang.

“Untuk menggali, mencari dan mengumpulkan bukti,” ujar Direktur Reserse Kriminal Khusus Polda Metro Jaya Komisaris Besar Ade Safri Simanjuntak pada Jumat (13/10/2023).

Sementara itu, agenda pemeriksaan terhadap Firli akan dijadwalkan tim penyidik.

Di sisi lain, KPK telah melakukan penahanan terhadap tiga tersangka yang terjerat kasus dugaan pemerasan dan penerimaan gratifikasi di Kementan RI.

Mereka ialah Syahrul, Sekretaris Jenderal Kementan Kasdi Subagyono, dan Direktur Alat dan Mesin Pertanian Direktorat Jenderal Prasarana dan Sarana Kementan Muhammad Hatta.

Khusus untuk Syahrul, KPK juga menerapkan Pasal Tindak Pidana Pencucian Uang (TPPU).https://merujaksore.com/wp-admin

Eks Penyidik Dapat Info, Bukan Cuma SYL Yang Jadi Korban Pemerasan Oknum KPK

Gedung KPK (Foto: Ist)
Gedung KPK (Foto: Ist)

RM.id  Rakyat Merdeka – Mantan penyidik Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Novel Baswedan mengaku memperoleh informasi soal dugaan pemerasan yang dilakukan oknum KPK terhadap kepala daerah. 

Hal itu disampaikan Novel dalam siniar podcast ‘BOCORAN!!! Tak Hanya Mentan, Ada Juga Kepala Daerah yang Diperas?’ yang tayang di akun YouTubenya, Jumat (13/10/2023).

“Saya mendapat informasi ada seorang kepala daerah yang juga menjadi korban pemerasan,” ujar Novel dalam podcast bersama Bambang Widjojanto dan peneliti ICW Kurnia Ramadhana tersebut.

Novel menduga, sudah banyak pihak yang menjadi korban pemerasan oknum di KPK.

“Dari informasi yang kami peroleh itu artinya dugaan sangat keras bahwa korban-korban pemerasan itu banyak,” tuturnya.

“Tapi, yang lebih menarik gini, ketika tadi saya katakan ada pemerasan yang itu merupakan level kejahatan korupsi yang tertinggi, kewenangan digunakan untuk meras, berarti paling nggak yang lainnya berani lah. Kalau seperti itu, saya sangat yakin kalau perbuatan ini sering dilakukan,” tandasnya. 

Saat ini, Polda Metro Jaya tengah membuka penyidikan kasus dugaan pemerasan oleh pimpinan KPK terkait penanganan kasus dugaan korupsi di Kementerian Pertanian (Kementan) RI.

Belasan saksi, termasuk mantan Menteri Pertanian Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL) dan ajudan Ketua KPK Firli Bahuri bernama Kevin Egananta Joshuaz sudah diperiksa oleh tim penyidik gabungan Sub-Direktorat V Tindak Pidana Korupsi Direktorat Reserse Kriminal Khusus Polda Metro Jaya.

Kevin akan diperiksa kembali pada Rabu, 18 Oktober 2023 mendatang.

“Untuk menggali, mencari dan mengumpulkan bukti,” ujar Direktur Reserse Kriminal Khusus Polda Metro Jaya Komisaris Besar Ade Safri Simanjuntak pada Jumat (13/10/2023).

Sementara itu, agenda pemeriksaan terhadap Firli akan dijadwalkan tim penyidik.

Di sisi lain, KPK telah melakukan penahanan terhadap tiga tersangka yang terjerat kasus dugaan pemerasan dan penerimaan gratifikasi di Kementan RI.

Mereka ialah Syahrul, Sekretaris Jenderal Kementan Kasdi Subagyono, dan Direktur Alat dan Mesin Pertanian Direktorat Jenderal Prasarana dan Sarana Kementan Muhammad Hatta.

Khusus untuk Syahrul, KPK juga menerapkan Pasal Tindak Pidana Pencucian Uang (TPPU).https://merujaksore.com/wp-admin

Eks Penyidik Dapat Info, Bukan Cuma SYL Yang Jadi Korban Pemerasan Oknum KPK

Gedung KPK (Foto: Ist)
Gedung KPK (Foto: Ist)

RM.id  Rakyat Merdeka – Mantan penyidik Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) Novel Baswedan mengaku memperoleh informasi soal dugaan pemerasan yang dilakukan oknum KPK terhadap kepala daerah. 

Hal itu disampaikan Novel dalam siniar podcast ‘BOCORAN!!! Tak Hanya Mentan, Ada Juga Kepala Daerah yang Diperas?’ yang tayang di akun YouTubenya, Jumat (13/10/2023).

“Saya mendapat informasi ada seorang kepala daerah yang juga menjadi korban pemerasan,” ujar Novel dalam podcast bersama Bambang Widjojanto dan peneliti ICW Kurnia Ramadhana tersebut.

Novel menduga, sudah banyak pihak yang menjadi korban pemerasan oknum di KPK.

“Dari informasi yang kami peroleh itu artinya dugaan sangat keras bahwa korban-korban pemerasan itu banyak,” tuturnya.

“Tapi, yang lebih menarik gini, ketika tadi saya katakan ada pemerasan yang itu merupakan level kejahatan korupsi yang tertinggi, kewenangan digunakan untuk meras, berarti paling nggak yang lainnya berani lah. Kalau seperti itu, saya sangat yakin kalau perbuatan ini sering dilakukan,” tandasnya. 

Saat ini, Polda Metro Jaya tengah membuka penyidikan kasus dugaan pemerasan oleh pimpinan KPK terkait penanganan kasus dugaan korupsi di Kementerian Pertanian (Kementan) RI.

Belasan saksi, termasuk mantan Menteri Pertanian Syahrul Yasin Limpo (SYL) dan ajudan Ketua KPK Firli Bahuri bernama Kevin Egananta Joshuaz sudah diperiksa oleh tim penyidik gabungan Sub-Direktorat V Tindak Pidana Korupsi Direktorat Reserse Kriminal Khusus Polda Metro Jaya.

Kevin akan diperiksa kembali pada Rabu, 18 Oktober 2023 mendatang.

“Untuk menggali, mencari dan mengumpulkan bukti,” ujar Direktur Reserse Kriminal Khusus Polda Metro Jaya Komisaris Besar Ade Safri Simanjuntak pada Jumat (13/10/2023).

Sementara itu, agenda pemeriksaan terhadap Firli akan dijadwalkan tim penyidik.

Di sisi lain, KPK telah melakukan penahanan terhadap tiga tersangka yang terjerat kasus dugaan pemerasan dan penerimaan gratifikasi di Kementan RI.

Mereka ialah Syahrul, Sekretaris Jenderal Kementan Kasdi Subagyono, dan Direktur Alat dan Mesin Pertanian Direktorat Jenderal Prasarana dan Sarana Kementan Muhammad Hatta.

Khusus untuk Syahrul, KPK juga menerapkan Pasal Tindak Pidana Pencucian Uang (TPPU).