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Tour guides hit hard as COVID-19 strangles tourist destinations

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first_imgOn a normal day, 58-year-old Agustinus Bataona, a tour guide in West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, would be quite busy leading tourists from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Europe on his Komodo Overseas Tour.Usually in a single month, he and his colleagues conducted five to seven tours to explore Komodo Island and the beauty of the surrounding islands. Meanwhile, they handled three or four tour packages, including overland trips, per month. On a busy day, he and his colleagues often met cruise ships that had between 1,000 and 1.500 tourists on board.“But that was before the COVID. Now, everything is so different. It is very quiet, nothing to do. In February we only handled two tours, while in March, there are none,” Agustinus who is also the regional NTT head of the Indonesia Tour Guide Association, told The Jakarta Post on Monday. As fears over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus grow, significantly fewer tourists are visiting major destinations in NTT, such as Labuan Bajo, Komodo National Park and Flores. To date, about 45,000 tourists have canceled their plans to visit the world-renowned destinations from January to May.“This definitely affects the livelihoods of the tour guides in East Nusa Tenggara, especially on Flores and Komodo. We lost our daily income because tourism is our main source of income,” said Agustinus.Agustinus said  at least 511 licensed tour guides in NTT are affected by the cancellations. Because of them, many tour guides have to stay at home.The secretary-general of the Indonesian Travel Agents Association (Astindo), Pauline Suharno, who is also the director of Elok Tours, said there are many tourist workers at the grassroots level who have been indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused numerous cancellations. In addition to guides, other workers who rely heavily on the tourism industry for their livelihoods, such as tour drivers, are also in difficult circumstances, she said. Meanwhile, Pauline said many travel agencies have to “reorganize” to reduce their employee numbers for efficiency.“Some implement unpaid leave; there is no hiring of contract workers and there is no new recruitment. Job termination cannot be avoided if the condition remains the same or worse,” Pauline said on Thursday. Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) chairman Hariyadi Sukamdani also reported that many hotels in Indonesia started striving for cost efficiency amid the hard times to generate cash flow because of the drop in hotel occupancy rates caused by a decline in tourist visits.“Today, many daily workers in the hotel are not employed any more. The daily workers usually work depending on occupancy rates, such as the cleaning staff. Meanwhile, many contract and permanent employees are starting to work in shifts for efficiency,” he said.The growing fears over the spread of COVID-19 have hit tourism-related businesses like travel agents, hotels and other accommodations across the country.Pauline said ticket sales for inbound and outbound flights fell sharply, not only to those traveling for holidays but also for Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca. Many trips such as study tours and business trips have also been canceled following the government instruction to limit travel, movement and events.As of March 12, Astindo recorded a nearly 90 percent drop in sales following booking cancellations caused by fears over the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, in February, Astindo members recorded potential losses of Rp 4 trillion.“In the hard times, our members are still burdened with operational costs, such as office leasing fees, bank interest rates, employee salaries, electricity charges, telephone expenses and others. This is a hard time for us,” said Pauline.Meanwhile, the PHRI reported the country’s overall occupancy rate had fallen below the low season average of 50 to 60 percent to 30 to 40 percent since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China in early January. In Bali, the occupancy rate had dropped to 20 percent, especially in areas visited by individual travelers such as Kuta, Sanur, Legian, Ubud and Jimbaran.Topics :last_img read more

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Cricket News India to play five ODIs, two T20Is at home vs Australia as part of 2019 World Cup build-up

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first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team will be aiming to build-up serious momentum ahead of the 2019 World Cup which will be played in England on May 31. Looking at the importance of the tournament, the Indian side has a cramped schedule just before the start of the tournament. India is slated to play 13 ODIs before the World Cup and their campaign begins with the three-match ODI series against Australia beginning on January 12. After two games on January 15 and 18 in Adelaide and Melbourne, India then play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand starting on January 23 and ending on February 10.Following the end of the New Zealand series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the fixtures for the home summer with India once again taking on Australia in five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals. Kohli’s side will have a two-week break before the series begins with two T20Is in Bengaluru and Vizag starting on February 24 and February 27. Following the end of the T20Is, the ODI series will be played.Read More | Six runs needed off one ball, yet a team wins with one ball to spareThe first match will take place on March 2nd in Hyderabad, followed by a game on March 5 at the VCA stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur. The series will then shift to Ranchi for the third ODI on March 8 while the fourth game will be played at PCA stadium in Mohali on March 10. The series will then end with the fifth and final ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. This series will be the last international fixture after which the IPL will begin from March 23 and will be played in India.Read More | BCCI considers banning India allrounder Pandya for two games: ReportsAfter the end of the IPL around mid-May, the Indian cricket team will head to England for the World Cup, which will be hosted in that country after a gap of 20 years. Kohli’s side are currently the No.2 ranked side and will be aiming to win the World Cup for the third time after securing victory in 1983 and 2011. Australia, who are the five-time world champions, have been struggling in all formats of the game ever since the bans on star players Steve Smith and David Warner for one year due to the ball-tampering scandal in the Newlands Test versus South Africa in Cape Town. last_img read more

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Woman who says she was ‘sucker punched’ by Syracuse lacrosse player argues he deserves harsher punishment

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first_imgThe woman who was punched in the face by a Syracuse lacrosse player last weekend said he should’ve been punished more harshly and deserves to face the consequences of his actions.Kendall Talbot, 20, of Brewerton, New York, said in an interview with The Daily Orange that she didn’t know SU midfielder Hayes McGinley until he “sucker punched” her in the face, breaking her cigarette in half and causing her tooth to pierce her lip. The incident followed a heated argument outside Insomnia Cookies on Marshall Street, where she was working on the night of March 14.“It’s the consequences of your actions,” she said during an interview at her house on Monday. “If you want to be on the team you can’t be like ‘Oh, I’m going to go out and get sh*tfaced tonight and expect nothing bad’s going to happen.’ Because you’re not you when you’re sh*tfaced.”Syracuse Athletics announced on Sunday that McGinley was suspended from the lacrosse team indefinitely due to an unspecified violation of team rules. He was suspended from the team on March 15, one day after he was charged with two counts of harassment in the second degree in connection with the incident involving Talbot.Talbot said she thought McGinley should have been charged with assault instead of harassment, and that police could have added a drunk and disorderly charge as well. She added that portions of the police report misrepresented what happened and that McGinley already “looked like sh*t” and had claw marks on his throat when she first saw him.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHarassment in the second degree is punishable by a maximum $250 fine and/or a maximum of 15 days in jail. McGinley was arraigned in Syracuse City Court on March 15 and is due back in court on April 14.Talbot’s co-worker, William Weaver, 29, of Syracuse, was also involved in the incident and pressed charges against McGinley. Weaver could not be reached for comment on Monday.Talbot was working inside Insomnia Cookies when she noticed Weaver and another man, who she later found out was McGinley, standing near her car. She went outside to ask them to move away from the brand new car she had purchased five days earlier.When she went outside, she saw McGinley, who was pulling on the handle, trying to get in the car because he insisted that it was his ride.McGinley had already been arguing with Weaver and had punched him by the time she got outside, Talbot said. When she came out, the argument escalated with Talbot telling McGinley that he needed to “get the f*ck away from my car right f*cking now.”McGinley grabbed her chest, she said — though Talbot noted that she didn’t think he meant anything sexual by it. And she hit him back. The two continued to argue for about 30 minutes before it died down. Stressed out, she lit a cigarette as he was walking away. Then she was blindsided by his punch, which caused the cigarette to break in half, she said.“I understand like, I hit you first, but if you had punched me right after I hit you and not half an hour after I hit you, fair game,” Talbot said. “But you’re gonna sucker punch me like half an hour after, after we’ve been talking?“… I wasn’t even looking. It was a straight sucker punch.”Talbot went to the hospital after the police left at the insistence of her co-workers. She didn’t need stitches and a week later, she said the cut has healed. But the incident put her in a bad mood and she chain smoked for about two hours afterward and let her co-workers run the store.Talbot said she played sports in high school and believes that if you want to play on a team you have to abide by a code of conduct and can’t take risks like McGinley did.“I don’t want to ruin your life but you need to think, I don’t care who you are, if you’re going to make bad choices you’ve got to learn from them at some point,” Talbot said. ”That’s how you’re going to better yourself and if you’ve got to learn the hard way that’s not my fault.” Comments Published on March 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm Related Stories Syracuse midfielder Hayes McGinley suspended indefinitely after punching 2 people, arrestHayes McGinley’s lawyer said suspended SU midfielder had ‘no recognition’ of his actions that led to arrestcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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