The number of domestic tourists in Bali from January to April decreased to 363,161, marking an 11 decrease in tourists from the same period in 2018, according to Colliers International Indonesia, which blamed high airfares on the slowdown in tourism.

The hotel occupancy rate also decreased, dropping to 62.7 percent in the second quarter of 2019, a 2 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2018.

“The high airfares also contributes to the [lower] hotel occupancy rate in Bali,” Colliers International Indonesia senior associate director Ferry Salanto said in Jakarta on Wednesday as reported by .

She explained that economy class tickets from Jakarta to Bali previously cost an average of Rp 1.7 million (US$120.61) on weekdays prior to the increase in ticket prices, but in recent months, the price rose to Rp 2.4 million excluding baggage fees.

The price of Jakarta-Singapore tickets is currently Rp 2 million. “With such a condition, Indonesian tourists prefer to travel abroad,” Ferry said.

The government has tried to lower domestic airfares through a number of policies.

Low-cost carriers agreed to lower airfares by 50 percent from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays as part of cost-sharing measures undertaken by airlines, airports, aviation fuel suppliers and flight navigation firms. (bbn)