Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku X has threatened to close down 18 new hotels in Yogyakarta city and Sleman regency, whose managements failed to acquire the permits required for the operation of their properties.
"If there is no permit for the construction of the hotels, just topple them. The local governments (in Sleman and Yogyakarta City) need to be tough in trying to uphold the regulations," said the governor in Yogyakarta on Thursday.
Most of the hotels were located in Yogyakarta city.
"I will discuss it with Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti," the governor said, adding that the authority to take measures against hotel owners was in the hands of the local government.
The chairman of the Yogyakarta's Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI) Istijab admitted that there were many hotels that did not have complete licenses to operate.
According to him, hotel owners have complained over the difficulty in obtaining documents to get the permits. He gave an example that there was a new regulation issued in 2015 that required hotel owners to seek a certificate from an independent body to certify a building had been constructed properly.
Many hotel owners were also concerned about the high fees for seeking the permits, whose cost could reach hundreds of millions of rupiah, he added.
Yogyakarta's mayor denied that fees for hotel permits were excessive, saying that many of the hotel owners were reluctant to meet their basic requirements such as the requirement for a hotel to operate a waste water treatment to treat the hotel waste before it was discharged into the environment.
Istijab said the owners of those hotels had expressed their commitment to meet all requirements by the end of the year.