Jakarta. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is going out of its way to revive the pandemic-battered tourism industry.
The ministry is rolling out incentives amounting to Rp 60 billion ($4.2 million) in 2021. Also, this year, they are currently cooking up a plan for the second round of grants for the tourism sector.
Albeit the Covid-19 pandemic, developments for the five super-priority tourist destinations are still underway.
The government has picked five destinations to become new tourist hubs that can be of Bali's caliber. They are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara. Also on the "New Balis" list are Likupang in North Sulawesi and Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara.
At the president's behest, the development must pay attention to various aspects, from infrastructure to cleanliness, health, safety, and environmental sustainability (CHSE) certifications.
The Tourism Ministry also grows confident of the tourism sector's revival.
"There is hope for the tourism sector growth. For instance, Yogyakarta's economy is currently growing at 6 percent, and this is followed by a growth in hotel occupancy," Henky Manurung, the ministry's expert staff in crisis management, said on Wednesday.
With the government's support, the Indonesia Tour and Travel Agency Association (Asita) is currently focusing on promoting domestic tourism.
"Previously, we found it was challenging to promote tourism to 34 provinces, but the five super-priority tourism destinations open doors for domestic tourism promotions," Asita chairwoman Nunung Rusmiati said.
"We hope the government's stimulus can help the tourism sector get back on its feet. And also, the government continues to think of ways so that this stimulus can be effective."
Meanwhile, health worker and traveler Ratih C. Sari urged her fellow tourists to follow "3M" health protocols of mask-wearing, handwashing, and physical distancing at all times. She assured strict safety protocols compliance would not ruin the vacation fun but would put the tourists at ease during their travels.
"When I visited Bali, I noticed the government had designed steps to ensure the people's health and safety during their travels," Ratih said.
"As long as we practice those health protocols, it actually does not ruin the fun that we get from traveling. Hopefully, we can return home in good health."