Indonesian tourism workers strike for fee increase in Komodo National Park

 Wednesday, August 3, 2022 


Due to a hefty increase in the ticket price to see the world’s largest lizard which is called the Komodo Dragon colloquially, hundreds of Indonesian tourism workers called for a strike.

The government says that the price rise is necessary in order to preserve the species from going extinct.

The ticket prices for entering the islands of the Komodo National Park hikes 18 times overnight to 3.75m rupiah (205lbs) on Monday. Due to this price rise, local workers would drive away tourists and cause their incomes to shrink.

The small country of the Southeast Asia is home to 3,30 Komodo Dragons. These lizards can grow up to 3metres (10ft) in length and can prey in one venomous bite.

Leo Embo, a tour guide who belonged to one of the 24 local striking workers’ associations said that this has caused severe uncertainty among them.

In television footage of a face-off between the police and the protestors, it showed that dozens of the protestors were arrested. The Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno urged the protesting workers to discuss the issue with the government.

Before the island was hit by the century’s devastating pandemic, the islands of the Nusa Tenggara province that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site attracted about 222,000 visitors in 2019.

The annual footfall of tourists have fallen to about a quarter of the number in the following years which has decimated tourism and businesses related to that industry in that region.

Before Indonesia started generating revenues from the giant lizards, the country has courted controversy over its efforts.

This includes an image of a dragon confronting a construction vehicle which triggered outrage when it went viral on social media in 2020.

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