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October 27, 2020, 08.58 PM – Since the coronavirus pandemic was first reported in March, Indonesia’s tourism sector has not experienced any significant growth.

“Back in March, while other countries were feeling the impact of the novel virus, Indonesia was doing fine because there were no Covid-19 cases. Since the first coronavirus case was detected in Indonesia, the situation has not been on our side,” said Secretary-General of the Indonesian Association of Travel Agents (Astindo), Pauline Suharno.

When the country had zero Covid-19 cases, Astindo members hoped that they could encourage travelers to visit destinations in Indonesia.

Read also: Indonesia Dangles Tour Package Discounts for Locals to Prop Up Tourism Sector

The decision was partly to restore Indonesia’s domestic tourism sector which had been on the downtrend since 2019 due to expensive airfares.

“The travel and social restrictions imposed by the government and travel advisories applied in certain provinces have, of course, worsened Indonesia’s domestic tourism,” said Pauline.

The month of May was the lowest-performing month for Indonesia’s domestic tourism with Indonesian citizens facing travel restrictions during the month of Ramadhan — a period that would otherwise be busy for the tourism sector.

Read also: A Not-So-Beautiful View of Indonesia Tourism during Covid-19 Pandemic

As a result, travel agents in cities and various regions faced massive difficulties during which some agents lost their entire market.

A short breeze for Indonesia’s tourism sector

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