Jakarta. A recent global study published on Thursday found that tourists from Singapore, India, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand are all targeting Indonesia as their first destination when their home countries’ borders reopen.
The survey, conducted jointly by Singapore-based social research agency Blackbox Research, data provider Dynata, and language partner Language Connect, also revealed that 71 percent of Indonesians say that the country is well-prepared to reopen its tourism and leisure activities.
The figure is the second highest in Southeast Asia, according to the findings.
An overwhelming 96 percent of Indonesians also believe that tourism sector is one of the main drivers of the economy -- the highest level of confidence globally.
While Indonesia has the confidence to reopen its tourism sector, a lot more still need to be done to regain one from foreign visitors as the country has become the hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak in the region.
“Having set the ambitious goal of reopening Bali to international visitors on September 11, the Indonesian government will need to play a key role in convincing travelers from around the world that it is safe to travel to their desired destination,” Blackbox Research Chief Operating Officer Saurabh Sardana said in a statement.
The report, entitled Unravel Travel: Fear & Possibilities in a Post-Coronavirus World, was a result of interviews of 10,195 people across 17 countries regarding travel.
“Our study has reinforced the fact that international tourism is a crucial pillar for Indonesia’s economy. Most operators are ready to restart, with safety and cleanliness protocols firmly in place,” Sardana said.
“Whether it is nationally or globally, all eyes will be on Indonesia, and how they handle its first wave of domestic travelers in Bali as it reopens, which we expect to continue to grow given the expected demand for travel that we found from our study,” he added.
The report found that 73 percent of Indonesians are keen to travel domestically in the next 12 months and the influx of domestic travelers will present the country “an opportunity to start building up travelers’ confidence towards Indonesia’s approach to health and safety”.
“What we will witness with Bali for the next few months will be crucial – local travel operators and businesses need to seize the opportunity to establish a strong reputation in safety and cleanliness with domestic tourists, which will help tell a story of trust that would set the stage for September,” Sardana said.
Globally, the study found that 80 percent of travelers are willing to pay more for safer accommodation and 76 percent of respondents indicated that their preferred travel destinations will be countries that offer more contactless experiences.
During a cabinet meeting earlier in the day, President Joko Widodo said tourism is among the sectors that bear the brunt of the global pandemic.
“After examining the affected sectors, I saw that tourism and air travel are hit particularly hard. In the second quarter, the number of international tourists visiting Indonesia stood at 482,000. It was a drop of 81 percent quarter-on-quarter and 87 percent year-on-year,” the president said.
Since the July 1 reopening, Bali has seen the number of domestic travelers more than triple to 2,500 per day, from a mere 800 local tourists prior to that, according to provincial tourism department head Putu Astawa.
“We expect a surge in arrivals during Christmas and the New Year. But the most important thing at this point of time is regain travelers’ confidence towards our health safety measures,” Putu said on Wednesday.