People On The MoveSandiaga Salahuddin Uno is intent on driving the five super-priority destinations forward and reviving the Covid-hit travel industry.

Indonesia's new tourism minister outlines two-pronged strategy

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Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno's tourism revival plans include a focus on fostering "new innovations" in tourism, such as village tourism and halal tourism.
Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno's tourism revival plans include a focus on fostering "new innovations" in tourism, such as village tourism and halal tourism. Photo Credit: kemenparekraf

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 economy.

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 Post report.

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 economies.

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.

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