The safe and steady recovery of the tourism sector is now the topmost
priority for Indonesia's Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, with
government officials, including Tourism Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio,
stating that regaining traveller trust is key to the industry’s
In light of this, the Indonesian government recently ratified
Covid-19 health protocols for the tourism sector. Developed by the
Health Ministry, Tourism Ministry and industry stakeholders, the
Cleanliness, Health and Safety (CHS) protocol for accommodation,
F&B, tourist attractions, transport, meetings, events, and all
tourism-related facilities is detailed in a 66-page handbook and videos,
officially released on 19 June.
From arrival to departure, the protocol applies to all aspects of
travel for industry employees, guests, and suppliers, said Bali Hotels
Association’s (BHA) government relations director, Fransiska Handoko,
during the recent Bali Tourism - The Way Back webinar organised by
Delivering Asia Communications and C9 Hotelworks.
Like most of the world’s travel destinations, Indonesia’s Tourism
Ministry will initially focus on the domestic market, through its
#DiIndonesiaAja (#JustinIndonesia) campaign. To build confidence among
international travellers, the Ministry is encouraging industry
stakeholders to document their CHS protocol activities and share them on
social media with the hashtag #DreamTodayTravelTomorrow.
Regarding CHS protocol-related content, the Tourism Ministry’s
director of marketing, Nia Niscaya, during a recent Association of
Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies online discussion, said: “We have
to be able to be present in the market by displaying content that
inspires tourists." The Tourism Ministry’s website currently features
photos of traditional Balinese dancers in masks and face shields
offering hand sanitiser.
However, Norbert Vas, vice president of Archipelago International, a
major hotel operator in Indonesia, cautioned the industry against
engaging in "clean wars" that might potentially scare away visitors.
Instead, he called for a "cautious and fair" approach.
“A lot of hotels are coming up with crazy ads and initiatives. I’ve
seen an ad of a front desk employee with a mask and face shield and
gloves," he remarked during Bali Tourism - The Way Back event. "It
doesn’t look like you’re checking into a hotel; it looks like you’re
checking into a nuclear power station."
While regional neighbours such as Vietnam and Thailand have
successfully contained the outbreak, epidemiologists have warned that
Indonesia has not yet reached its pandemic peak. Bali, however, has been
widely praised for its comparatively low caseload and mortality rate,
which as of 1 July stands at 1,527 cases and 14 deaths.
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry and Bali’s provincial
government recently announced a tentative three-stage plan to reopen the
island for tourism, starting with local tourism from July, domestic
tourism from August, and international arrivals from September. This is
highly dependent on the island’s Covid-19 caseload however, particularly
the rate of local transmissions, Bali Governor Wayan Koster told
reporters in mid-June.
But industry members believe the enduring appeal of Bali will likely
work in its favour to lure visitors back. STR area director - Asia
Pacific, Jesper Palmqvist, said during the Bali Tourism - The Way Back
event: “People love Bali – Indonesians, Asians, Aussies, everyone.
People will return. Bali will be on top of mind quite early, and that
will prove a very important part [in the industry’s recovery].”