Govt to provide US$1.68 billion stimulus package with hotel, airfare discounts

first_imgTopics : The government is set to provide a Rp 25 trillion (US$1.68 billion) stimulus package that includes airfare and hotel discounts to speed up the recovery of the travel industry after the pandemic subsides.Tourism is one of the hardest-hit sectors by the current health crisis, with no fewer than 1.4 million workers within the sector having been laid off or furloughed.The Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Agency head, Febrio Kacaribu, said on Wednesday that the stimulus package, which aims to boost consumption among the middle class, would be effective by the third quarter when COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be relaxed. “If the public is eager to travel in the third quarter, we will provide a stimulus for tourism, restaurants and transportation,” Febrio told reporters in a teleconferenced briefing. “We are hoping that we will see [a surge in travel] in the third and fourth quarters to boost consumption.”According to his presentation material made available to reporters, the government would provide the support in the form of airfare and hotel discounts, as well as food vouchers via online applications.The plan is regulated under Government Regulation (PP) No. 23/2020 on the national economic recovery program, in which the government will carry out efforts to support a recovery after the pandemic eases.The projected scenario was that large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) would lower consumption significantly in the second quarter, but consumption would recover by the third quarter, Febrio said.center_img The economy grew 2.97 percent in the first three months of the year as consumption growth slowed while people stayed at home, businesses closed and travelers cancelled their travel plans.This has upended the tourism industry as the number foreign visitor arrivals plunged significantly by 64.1 percent year-on-year (yoy) in March to 470,898 visitors, a level unseen in a decade, according to data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS).Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio urged travel agents to use digital platforms to help the industry regain its power after the pandemic, adding that he was coordinating with various stakeholders in tourism to be prepared for a surge in tourists by formulating promotional plans.“The first step is to incentivize Indonesian tourists by coming up with alluring travel packages,” he said. “The pandemic has brought new routines, a new normal.”He also noted new trends in tourism brought about by the outbreak, with health and comfort in particular seeing major changes.“For the next tourism development, we will focus on the principle things, namely hygiene and sanitation at tourist attractions, accommodation and modes of transportation,” Wishnutama said.“We will need strong cooperation to further mitigation and recovery efforts, during the pandemic and afterward.”last_img read more

Cummins called up to replace Australia paceman Starc

first_img(REUTERS)-Pat Cummins is in sight of a long-awaited second test after being rushed into the Australia squad to replace injured pace spearhead Mitchell Starc for the remainder of the series in India.Cummins has not played a test since his stunning seven-wicket debut against South Africa as an 18-year-old in 2011 but he made a successful return to first class cricket for the first time in six years this week with a man-of-the-match performance for New South Wales in the domestic Sheffield Shield.Jackson Bird is the back-up paceman in the touring squad, but 23-year-old Cummins is likely to be selected for the third test in Ranchi starting next week, with the tense four-match series poised at 1-1.“In selecting Pat, we were looking for a strike bowling replacement option (for Starc),” selector Trevor Hohns said in a media release on Saturday.“Pat has impressed in his return to cricket this summer with consistent performances in his ODI, Twenty20 International and Big Bash matches.“He has also had a very good Sheffield Shield return for New South Wales.”He underlined his huge potential with an eight-wicket haul to fire the state side to a comfortable home win over South Australia on Saturday.His return to red-ball cricket was seen as confirmation of his availability for the Ashes series against England in the coming home summer.However, Starc’s series-ending stress fracture injury changed the landscape and Steve Smith’s side is desperate to rebound in Ranchi after their fourth innings collapse in Bangalore squared the series.Long touted as a future leader of the pace attack, the Sydney-born right-armer was the youngest Australian cricketer to earn a national contract in 2011-12 but has been beset by injuries since his brilliant Test debut at the Wanderers.Selectors have been loath to risk the tall seamer in long-form cricket, easing him back through the shorter formats until his return for New South Wales this week.last_img read more

After years of unspeakable tragedy, Fresno State’s Jeff Allison will soon experience glory

first_img (Getty Images) With pain serving as inspiration, Allison recorded 120 tackles and two interceptions. He earned the Mountain West’s top defensive accolades to power the Bulldogs to a conference championship and 12-2 record. Allison tallied at least 10 tackles in six games, including 15 vs. Minnesota in the second week of the season and 11 in a victory over Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl that capped his career. His 246 tackles over his final two seasons rank fifth in the nation. LSU’s Devin White, a likely top-10 pick, is fourth with 256. Despite bypassing his senior season, he ranks 10th in school history in tackles.”Honestly, I feel like my instincts are my strongest point,” he said. “I know how to find the ball and I get to the ball. That’s my main point. There’s a lot of things I can improve on, but my instincts will show up.”That see-ball, get-ball ability is why he is on the precipice of fulfilling a lifelong dream — one that Jaelan won’t be there to enjoy.”He’d be proud of me,” Allison said of his brother. “He always said he was proud of me and always looked up to me. He’d probably tell me he’s super-proud of me.”How has he done it? How has he accomplished so much? How has he handled so much agony?”Prayer, trusting God, knowing that he has a very supportive family that’s going to raise him up and not allow him to lay down,” Ponton said. “We’re there to help him stand up, be courageous and be bold, knowing that he can do anything that he puts his mind to.”But it was a hard cookie for him to swallow. The fact of it is, Jeff started playing football at the age of 5. It’s always been a dream. The people that he has lost were always people that told him that he can do it and would always tell him that, ‘One day, you will be on TV on Sundays.’ His mind-set was, ‘Even though they’re in heaven, they’re watching down to see if I’m going to fulfill the dreams and the things that they told me I can do.'” For once, the tears that will flow from the eyes of Jeff Allison’s family will be tears of joy.Allison, the Mountain West Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and a prospect in this month’s NFL Draft after two huge seasons as a linebacker at Fresno State, has had to deal with unspeakable sorrow. Jeff Allison (No. 9) intercepts a pass in front of Fresno State teammate Anthoula Kelly in the third quarter of a 38-14 win over UCLA. (Getty Images)Ponton, whose leukemia is in remission, has taken enormous pride in watching her son flourish on the field and grow off the field. Her emotions — a mother’s joy, pride and pain — were evident at several points in the interview.”I would have to write a book to tell you what it’s meant to me,” she said. “I’m so very proud of him because he has turned into a man. He had to grow up very fast. He had to be strong. He was that rock. I have four boys, and he was the one that would come home from football, ‘Mom, do you need anything?’ To watch him get up at 4 o’clock in the morning to go to training and to go to football practices, and then rush home to see if I’m OK, and then go back to training, and to see where he is at today just makes my heart flutter.”I’m overwhelmed. I’m totally overwhelmed that he, through adversity, through death, through hurt, through pain, through his mother being on her death bed three times, was able to conquer everything and still be determined, still be dedicated. To be where he is today, I couldn’t even give you words to express what I feel right now.”MORE: Australian punters are changing the NFL, and Mitch Wishnowsky is next (Getty Images) In September 2016, he lost two of his cousins in a car accident. In July, a younger brother, Jaelan White, drowned.All the while, his mother, Shynita Ponton, has battled leukemia and two lung diseases.MORE: All you need to know about the 2019 NFL DraftWhen Allison lands in the NFL this month, either as a late-round draft pick or an undrafted free agent, it will be a story of triumph over tragedy.”It’s going to be glorious,” Ponton said. “It’s going to be a moment of tears, but tears of joy, not pain. He’ll be able to say that he conquered everything that he went through. It’s just going to be a day of emotion and tears.”People could probably come in and make millions off us from water from the tears. It’s just going to be such a joyful day. Just such a joyful day. Oh, Jesus, just joyful.”Allison was born in Miami but moved to Atlanta before high school. His freshman season at Fresno State was blindsided by the loss of his cousins.Because of a lack of playing time, a coaching change and his mom’s illness, he considered transferring. Instead, he stayed at Fresno and changed his jersey to No. 9. For Allison, it was simple, meaningful math: One of his cousins wore No. 8, and the other wore No. 2. When they died, Allison lost a part of his life. He honored them on the field, too, with 126 tackles.”They were my best friends,” Allison said.MORE: Sporting News’ latest NFL mock draft for 2019Not only did Allison have a breakout season, but so did the Bulldogs, who surged from 1-11 in 2016 to 10-4 under new coach Jeff Tedford in 2017.Trying to build upon that success, Allison and his teammates were going through conditioning inside Fresno State’s Bulldog Stadium on July 4 in anticipation of the 2018 season. That’s when Ponton called her son’s close friend, running back Dejonte O’Neal, with the devastating news of 16-year-old Jaelan’s drowning.She wanted to make sure Allison was not alone when she called him.”I think about him every day,” Allison said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my brother. He made me appreciate life every day and to not take for granted.” Faith has carried the family through unimaginable times. Every day, Ponton said, the family exchanges prayers. Allison, also a two-time member of the Mountain West’s all-academic team, has provided a welcome beacon of hope for a family in dire need of it.”That beautiful smile that he has, he could have always had a face of sorrow, but he allowed God to illuminate him through that smile, through that personality,” Ponton said. “Every tear turns into joy. Every pain turns into joy. The best part is, he’s always at peace.”Except when he’s on that football field. That’s when he turns into a beast.”last_img read more