Thu, 04 Aug 1994

Hoteliers welcome policy on use of Chinese characters

JAKARTA (JP): Hotels in Jakarta and Surabaya welcome the government's move to permit them to print brochures in Chinese, although the larger establishments say Chinese-speaking visitors make up a small percentage of their patrons.

The policy would give hoteliers a choice of whether or not to extend the market to Chinese-speaking visitors, said Riza A. Suryo, Public Relations Director of Jakarta's Shangri-La Hotel.

It is particularly beneficial to hotels which already have strong markets in Taiwan and China, Riza told The Jakarta Post yesterday.

"But we still need time to evaluate whether we should go for it ... we have to adapt to the market, not produce one," he said, adding that Shangri-La's guests, which mostly came from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Europe, were mainly English- speaking communities.

Lolita Larasati, Public Relations Executive of Patra Hilton International Hotel in Surabaya, said she was optimistic the new policy would boost the flow of Chinese-speaking tourists, since relations between Chinese-speaking business people and Indonesians are picking up, especially in the fields of trade.

"But we don't know when, or whether we will, apply the new policy because our market is directed towards Japan and Europe ... and those from China and Taiwan make up an insignificant percentage of our guests," she said.

Linawati, Guest Relations and Public Relations officer of the Garden Palace Hotel in Surabaya, shared a similar view, saying that Chinese brochures and programs would be very helpful if they decided to promote the hotel in China or Taiwan.

"It really depends on the hotel's policy as to where it intends to expand," she said, adding that English publications were sufficient for promotion in Southeast Asian countries.

Not all hotel officials are enthusiastic about the government's new ease on the Chinese language.

Riana Djuzman, Senior Public Relations Officer of the Mandarin Oriental in Jakarta, said the hotel's Chinese-speaking guests make up less than one percent of the total guests.

"It won't have a significant impact on us... English and Indonesian brochures are enough," she said.

Front Office Supervisor of Medan's Dirga Surya Hotel Desi Febrianti also considered that for most of the hotel's guests, English so far was sufficient and the policy would not be effective as yet. (pwn)