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Turkey and Saudi Arabia Top Destinations for Indonesian Travelers during Pandemic

November 3, 2020, 07.34 PM – Indonesian travelers are predicted to prefer planning an overseas trip to Turkey and Saudi Arabia amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

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.

Read also: Indonesia’s Airport Operator: First 253 Umrah Pilgrims Follow Health Protocols

“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.

Read also: Indonesian Red Cross Ready to Send Aid to Turkey Following Major Quake

Pauline shared that there have been several groups that have flown to Turkey though it has not been of any significant number.

However, the attraction of Turkey for tourists from Indonesia is its simple terms for entering its territory.

“Turkey does not require any PCR or rapid tests from travelers. To board Turkish Airlines, travelers are not subject to presenting any PCR test. It is when travelers from Indonesia return that they are required to present a PCR test result.”

Turkey’s expected popularity for Indonesian tourists is also due to the fact that there are several competitive tour packages available in the Southeast Asian nation.

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

Pauline said that a tourist from Indonesia would only pay Rp 14 million for a trip to Turkey lasting six to seven days.

Avoiding the complicated and expensive destinations

Although Dubai, United Arab Emirates has opened its doors to foreign tourists, not many Indonesians have yet to fly to the destination.

The Arab country’s complex requirements for foreign travelers, including mandatory three PCR tests upon arrival, have been off-putting for Indonesian travelers.

Read also: Relaxed Liquor Laws in Dubai, Abu Dhabi as UAE Rebuilds Tourism Industry

“Before taking an Emirates flight, tourists must present a PCR test result, then they must take another PCR test upon arriving in Dubai even though it is complimentary. When tourists from Indonesia return home, they must once again take another PCR test.”

Dubai’s intricate travel regulations for foreigners combined with its expensive nature make it less likely to be an outbound travel destination for Indonesians during the coronavirus pandemic.

(Writer: Syifa Nuri Khairunnisa | Editor: Anggara Wikan Prasetya)


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