News

high-rise refuge Seeking

Thousands of people may have been displaced by the floods in Greater Jakarta, but those who can afford it have taken refuge in hotels and apartments.

Local chain Tauzia Hotel Management, which operates Harris Hotel in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta, told the Jakarta Post that they have seen a hike in occupancy rates after floods hit the area.

Company spokesman Yani Sinulingga said the occupancy rate increased by between 5 and 10 per cent for its hotels in Jakarta, including the one in Kelapa Gading.

Said the spokesman: "During the flood, we received several cancellations of events, but we had many walk-in guests. So (the occupancy rate) is pretty stable."

She added that on normal days, the occupancy rate at Harris Hotel in Kelapa Gading was between 70 and 90 per cent.

She said the hotel had also reserved several rooms for its managerial staff because there was a possibility that some employees could not go home due to the heavily-flooded roads.

Well-to-do residents have also checked into apartments during the floods, the report said.

Jones Lang LaSalle head of research Anton Sitorus said: "There was an increase in the occupancy rate in apartments and hotels, especially in Pluit (North Jakarta)."

TEMPORARY

But Mr Sitorus said it will not make a big impact on the market as the development is only temporary.

He said it happens during major flooding such as in 2002, 2007 and last year.

Other residents, such as in Kelapa Gading, moved into their own apartments.

He said: "Many people in Kelapa Gading have bought apartments for investment. Now that the floods have come, they can stay in their apartments."

By Monday afternoon, floodwaters in some areas of Kelapa Gading had subsided after seven water pumps were used to pump out the water, Indonesian news website tempo.co reported.

In neighbouring Bekasi, in west Java, many residents complained of the unavailability of hotel rooms there, while some dormitories were fully occupied by evacuees on the weekend.

Madam Eliska, a mother of four, said: "We also tried apartments that were offering daily, weekly and monthly rates. They were either out of available units or demanded higher rates than usual.

"Staying in a hotel is not an option because we are a family of six plus nannies and housemaids."

The death toll has gone up to 11 and Indonesia's chamber of commerce said the widespread flooding in the capital had caused significant damage to business earnings.

The loss in Kelapa Gading was estimated at 40 billion rupiah (S$4.2 million) a day, as hundreds of shops, offices, malls and banks were unable to operate, an official told Jakarta Globe.

We also tried apartments that were offering daily, weekly and monthly rates. They were either out of available units or demanded higher rates than usual due to the high demand. Staying in a hotel is not an option because we are a family of six plus nannies and housemaids.

- Madam Eliska, a mother of four, a resident of Bekasi, west Java