Saudi Arabia reopened its borders to foreign travelers for the Umrah pilgrimage in October as an estimated 300 pilgrims from Indonesia were set to depart for the Middle Eastern country on Sunday, November 1.
According to Secretary-General of the Association of the Indonesian Tour & Travel Agencies Pauline Suharno, the recent Indonesian pilgrims that departed last week were individuals who had made a deposit to their respective travel agents pre-pandemic.
“There have been operational delays among Umrah tour operators. Travel agents have also faced some difficulties as they prefer that guests who have made a deposit postpone their trip rather than guests request a refund.”
The majority of last week’s pilgrims from Indonesia are those that had postponed their Umrah pilgrimage and had only waited for approval for their departure.
Nothing difficult, please
Indonesian travelers are expected to have a preference to visit Turkey during the coronavirus pandemic due to its uncomplicated terms and conditions that apply for foreigners.
Turkey has allowed foreign tourists to enter, including travelers from Indonesia, since June 2020.