An empty Kuta Beach in Bali last week. (Antara Photo/Fikri Yusuf)
Jokowi Expects Tourism Boom in 2021, Offers Stimulus for Businesses
BY :LENNY TRISTIA TAMBUN, IWAN M PUTUHENA
APRIL 16, 2020
Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday announced several measures to assist businesses and workers in the tourism industry, the sector hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia.
"The tourism industry is really feeling the pinch from the pandemic. Hotels, restaurants, local economies, they're all struggling," Jokowi said during an online cabinet meeting from the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.
The first measure is to set up a social protection program for workers in the tourism sector to help them recover from the economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
"The social protection program must effectively reach its target," Jokowi said.
The second measure is a series of labor-intensive programs to create jobs for workers in the tourism sector.
"The existing budget from the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry should be reallocated to labor-intensive programs for workers in the tourism sector," Jokowi said.
The president did not mention any specific programs, saying only that the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry will prepare a plan as soon as possible.
The third measure is a stimulus for businesses in the tourism and the creative economy industries so they could continue operating and stop laying off staff.
"This stimulus must be distributed carefully and effectively if we want to avoid massive layoffs," Jokowi said.
The president said he believed the tourism sector will experience a "boom" next year once the coronavirus crisis is over.
He asked businesses in the sector to remain optimistic as they wait out the pandemic.
"I believe the current situation will only last until the end of the year. Next year we'll have a boom in tourism. Everyone will want to travel again, enjoy the beauty of our tourist destinations," Jokowi said.