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.
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.