JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Closed-border policy and travel restrictions across the globe to contain the spread of the Covid-19 have given a new perspective to the Indonesian travelers amid the pandemic.
Co-founder of Indonesia’s first online travel company tiket.com Gaery Undarsa said that the pandemic has opened up opportunities in domestic tourism as Indonesian travelers now search for new tourist destinations in the country.
Gaery, who is also the company’s chief marketing officer, sat down with Kompas.com to share his views on how the company is coping with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the future of the Indonesian tourism industry.
“Travel industry is one of the sectors most affected [by the pandemic], but I think there are a lot of opportunities and new trends out there,” he said.
Gaery recalled that in 2019, destination choices among Indonesian travelers included Japan, Thailand, and other countries in Europe. “Right now, people here realize that there are a lot of new and even better places in Indonesia,” he said, adding that domestic tourism also contributes significantly to the national economy.
The Indonesian government is currently focusing on building the country’s super-priority tourism destinations in five provinces comprising Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Bunaken in North Sulawesi, and Bangka Belitung on Sumatera island.
To do so, the development of the 7.1 trillion rupiahs ($504.4 million) project in five destinations, will involve collaboration with different parties.
Movement of local tourists
Amid the development of tourism destinations, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has made some adjustments to the 2016-2021 Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJM) target of the movement of local tourists due to the pandemic.
Kompas.com previously reported that the target of domestic tourists has been lowered to 180 million movements from 320 million movements.
“It is not only foreign tourists who face challenges due to the closed border policy. Local tourists also experience travel restrictions,” said Nia Niscaya, the deputy minister for tourism marketing at the ministry previously.
The ministry has implemented several strategies to rebuild the tourism industry, including CHSE (cleanliness, health, safety, and environment) measures and InDOnesia CARE campaign, an initiative for tourist destinations to comply with health and safety protocols.
The Covid-19 pandemic hit the tourism industry due to the border shutdowns and stay-at-home policy implemented by governments around the world, including Indonesia. However, recently the government has relaxed the travel restrictions following the decline of active cases in Indonesia.
As of September 23, Indonesia recorded 4,634 new confirmed cases compared to 49,071 new confirmed cases on July 23 when the country saw a surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the more virulent Delta variant.Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.