Government AffairsFrom hosting live webinars to rolling out safety protocols, Indonesia's hard at work to welcome regional visitors back in the near future.

Covid or no Covid, tourists still trust Indonesia

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Nia Niscaya, Deputy for Tourism Marketing of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Baparekraf, said, “We are currently preparing so that when borders are opened, we are ready."
Nia Niscaya, Deputy for Tourism Marketing of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Baparekraf, said, “We are currently preparing so that when borders are opened, we are ready."

Although Covid-19 pandemic still roams the world, tourists can't wait to travel. Data from Tourism of Australia reveals that Indonesia is still at the second place of favourite holiday destinations for Australians, after the island of Bali, as voted by 67 percent of respondents.

“Even after the pandemic, Indonesia remains the favourite tourist destination on the wish list of Australians. Australians keep asking when Indonesia will reopen its door to tourism. They ask us by phone or email,” said Mohammad Syarif Alatas, Deputy Head of the Indonesian Representative, Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, during a live webinar organised by Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism and Creative Economy Agency on 25 November in Bali.

In the discussion dubbed 'New Visa Policy: Challenges and Opportunities for Tourism in the New Normal Era', Syarif added that his office had made efforts including socialising the renewed visa policies to Australians through webinar series and participating in many events such as ASEAN Village and multicultural festivals. 

Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia, Hermono, explained that while tourism in Malaysia has been severely hit by the impact of Covid-19, health tourism is growing.

“Health tourism has been opened for tourists who want to [receive medical treatment] in Malaysia, but it is still limited to green zone countries. Only patients with emergency status are admitted,” he explained. In addition, Malaysia also welcomes the entry of foreigners for business and employment purposes.

Rahmanto, Deputy Head of the RI Representative Office, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Manila, explained that quarantine status has been gradually lifted in the Philippines. “The Philippines also continues to look for ways so that economic activity can move. Tourist destinations have started to open their doors of domestic tourists, but still limiting their capacities,” Rahmanto said. In addition, these destinations also enforce certification from authorities in order for operators to obtain permission to accept guests.

Starting last October, the Thai Government has allowed its citizens to travel abroad. "Travellers only need to show return tickets, travel and health insurance, quarantine in isolation facilities and sign an immigration declaration acknowledging the risks of travelling and must show negative test results,” said Nur Rokhmah Hidayah, Minister Counsellor for Information, Social, and Culture, Indonesian Embassy for Thailand.

Nia Niscaya, Deputy for Tourism Marketing of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Baparekraf, said, “We are currently preparing so that when borders are opened, we are ready. Tourism sector was greatly affected and it will take the longest to recover,” she said. “We have issued guides on how to implement health protocols in tourist destinations. We respond to market demand for certification related to health protocols through CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment) campaign. A destination with InDOnesia CARE label is a proof that it has implemented health protocol in place.”

Regional Tourism Marketing Director I of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Vinsensius Jemadu, said, “While tourism is the sector worst affected, it cannot change our passion and commitment. We started on 19 November and we continue to support our buyers abroad by providing latest updates on our efforts."

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