Idul Fitri holidays, a blessing for all Indonesian Provinces

Bogor is a beloved tourist destination during Hari Raya holidays

Estimation talk of 26 million travellers from urban areas going back to their villages following Ramadan, generating huge economic benefits for rural and impoverished areas.

Indonesians’ tradition of going back to their hometowns in a massive annual exodus for the celebration of Idul Fitri (Hari Raya as it is locally known) may yield Rp 120 trillion (US$900 million) for regions across the archipelago, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) estimates. The information was provided by the Jakarta Post, Indonesia main English-written newspaper.

KADIN vice-chairman for the Eastern region, Andi Karumpa, said recently that money brought by home-bound travellers could stoke economic activity in the regions and was expected to increase demand for goods and services there.

“This year, there are around 26 million home-bound travellers from cities across the country, who bring around Rp 3 million to Rp 4 million with them. There are also remittances from Indonesian migrant workers returning to their villages,” Andi said in a recent press statement.

In Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, people traditionally celebrate Idul Fitri with members of their extended family with communal prayers and a big feast their town or village of origin. Idul Fitri fell on July 6 and 7 this year, with most workers taking a week-long break to celebrate the festivity with their families.

Andi said that villagers could also count their blessings as President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration had allotted a total of Rp 60 trillion in village funds for regions this year. The disbursement of those funds is aimed at reducing inequality and rural poverty.

“Hopefully the inflow of money can create business opportunities to meet the rising demand,” Andi said, while adding the government had to devise strategies to harness the “perennial cash inflow to villages for Idul Fitri” to develop the village economy.

(Source: the Jakarta Post-mos/est)