Indonesia's new Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga
Salahuddin Uno, who was appointed to the role last month, has made
rebooting the battered tourism industry his priority for 2021.
The new tourism minister has outlined a two-pronged approach to
achieving his vision, which includes furthering the development of
Indonesia's five “super-priority” tourist destinations on the
international front, while also finding new ways to rebuild the local
During his inauguration ceremony on 23 December, the
businessman-turned-politician referenced the government's hopes for the
five destinations to revive Indonesian tourism, as well as his one-year
timeline to update President Joko Widodo on making this happen "from a
360 degree angle – every single little thing," according to a Jakarta
Sandiaga, who was the former deputy governor of Jakarta, also talked
about "new innovations" in tourism, such as village tourism and halal
tourism as part of a variety of “activities that touch on the people’s
economy”. Instead of building an internationally competitive setup,
these new ideas will instead create additional revenue streams for local
Also speaking during the 23 December ceremony, outgoing tourism
minister Wishnutama Kusubandio reminded Indonesians on Covid-19's
lingering impact on the tourism and creative economy industries, which
employ 13 million and 20 million people respectively in the country.
According to Statistics Indonesia data, foreign tourist arrivals
posted a slight 4.6% increase to 158,200 in October from September, but
the number was still 88.25% down year-on-year. For 2021, Indonesia has
slashed its foreign arrivals target from 18 million travellers to
between 2.8 million and 4 million travellers.
Of Indonesia's master plan to reboot the industry, Sandiaga
nonetheless emphasised the priority to "solve the health aspect before
talking about economic recovery sectors".
On this note, Indonesia has on 3 January joined a growing list of
countries in distributing the Covid-19 vaccine. Developed by Chinese
firm Sinovac Biotech, mass inoculation is expected to begin later this
month. Phase two will run from April 2021 to March 2022, vaccinating the
63.9 million people in high-risk areas, and then the remaining 77.4
million of the targeted population.
Indonesia's number of confirmed cases crossed 500,000 cases in
November 2020, then hit 713,000 on 27 December, making it the highest
reported across Southeast Asia.