NORTH LOMBOK, KOMPAS.com - Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno continued to highlight post Covid-19 or new normal tourism in Indonesia, six months after President Joko Widodo slated him for the post.
Sporting a face mask and a T-shirt with the words #newnormal, Sandiaga hit the water with NTB Governor Zulkieflimansyah to highlight the need to maintain health protocols on land, air and sea.
"Swimming in Gili [Trawangan] was fun, even behind a mask to maintain health protocols," Sandiaga said after taking a dip on Thursday.
As with the swim, he called on travelers to constantly "apply health protocols to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. We hope that doing so will help restore the local economy."
While he believed that the nationwide travel ban during the Idul Fitri or Eid al-Fitr Islamic holiday was the best solution to avoid a surge in Covid-19 cases similar to that in India, Sandiaga acknowledged that the policy affected small businesses that depend on tourism.
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He asserted that the government will take steps to aid their plight, not least in NTB. "We will disburse Rp3.7 trillion [$261,809,040] in grants to help movers in the tourism and hospitality industries in NTB whose livelihoods were affected by Covid-19," he said.
Governor Zulkieflimansyah welcomed the initiative, and hoped that Sandiaga's highlighting of NTB will help the province's tourist industry.