MALANG, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia's tourism industry regressed to levels seen 20 years ago in terms of the number of foreign tourist arrivals due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Agustini Rahayu, Head of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy’s Public Communications Bureau, said as of September 2020, the Southeast Asian nation has only received 3.5 million foreign tourists, as opposed to 16.7 million foreign travelers who visited the country for all of 2019.
The ministry will not set a high target amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic during which several countries have forbidden entry to foreigners.
“An optimistic figure is 6 million overseas travelers," said Agustini. "The pandemic continues, borders remain closed, and other countries have also closed down their borders.”
Agustini explained that if Indonesia is able to have 6 million overseas tourists, then it will certainly put the tourism industry in Indonesia on the same level playing field as two decades ago when 5.7 million foreigners stepped foot in the country.
“I was taught by Minister Ardhika that if we want to measure tourism then it has to be with numbers and 20 years ago, there were 5.7 million overseas tourist arrivals."
"Today, we are optimistic that the figure can reach 6 million overseas travelers, but it would mean that we moved back 20 years."
In a sign of reassurance, Agustini stated that Indonesia’s tourism industry during the coronavirus pandemic is improving, backed by domestic tourists.
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