KOMPAS.com – Indonesia aims to finalize plans of forming travel bubbles with partner countries by end of July as the government continues to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Deputy Coordinating Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy on July 10.
Indonesia is currently in talks with three countries for travel bubbles that would allow the freedom of movement of tourists and businessmen to travel between partner countries that have controlled the spread of the Covid-19 virus, said Odo R.M. Manuhutu, Deputy Coordinating Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy at the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment.
“Right now, Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is handling the matter based on input from us at the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy,” said Odo.
Odo explained that Indonesia’s travel bubble plans would create a travel corridor that guarantees the security and safety of tourists or business travelers during their visit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Odo said the feasibility of the end-July target for finalizing travel bubble plans depends on the number of Covid-19 cases in the countries involved.
Hari Sungkari, Deputy Chairman for Destinations and Infrastructure Agency at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, said that many countries are negotiating a travel bubble.
A key strategy of Indonesia’s travel bubble plans is to place a greater focus on attracting domestic travelers to revive the tourism sector.
Hari cautioned that convincing domestic travelers would require all hands on deck including the enforcement of Covid-19 health protocols.
Promoting travel opportunities would not suffice to win domestic travelers over.
Given the current condition, setting the target number of travelers cannot be in the same range as in previous years.
“We will start seeing a normal flow of international travelers around 2024-2025 if we are talking about the same numbers in previous years (16 million visitors),” said Hari.
“Domestic travelers are expected to reach 300 million around 2023. It will take a couple of years which is why domestic travelers are our main target since they don’t need a travel bubble in place,” added Hari.