Jakarta. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry has joined forces with tech giant Grab to recover the pandemic-stricken tourism sector by ramping up health protocol compliance.
The coronavirus outbreak has dealt a fatal blow to the travel sector. To regain people's trust to travel, the ministry rolled out cleanliness, health, safety, and environmental sustainability (CHSE) certifications for businesses in the tourism sector, including hotels and restaurants.
Ministry data shows there are currently 5,901 CHSE-certified tourism businesses across 34 provinces. The government is also looking to get more businesses in the certification program.
At President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's behest, the ministry will also focus on building five super-priority destinations as the new, tourist-favorite Bali, according to Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno.
These five destinations are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, Likupang in North Sulawesi, and Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara.
"Aside from the infrastructure or transportation, we will work on the tourism experience. In these five super-priority destinations, we have prepared programs and collaborated with various parties to disseminate the CHSE protocols," Sandiaga said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last March, the Tourism Ministry and Grab signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourism and creative economy recovery. Sandiaga hopes Grab's continuous support can help create a CHSE-ready tourism sector and fuel economic recovery.
To this end, Grab will continue to promote CHSE certifications to its GrabFood partners via the GrabMerchant app. The first phase of the program has more than 450 Grab merchants in the Greater Jakarta area CHSE-certified, and there will be more to come from other parts of the archipelago.
The partnership also comprises basic tour guide courses for GrabCar and GrabBike Protect rental drivers. In early 2020, Grab taught 100 GrabBike drivers in Yogyakarta on communication skills and knowledge as a tour guide.
Also, Grab will disseminate information on safe and affordable travel packages from partnered travel agencies such as Agoda, Booking.com, and Klook.
As for the five super-priority destinations, the decacorn will continue the strategic partnership with the Tourism Ministry and local government. Grab seeks to offer tour packages that go beyond mobility or transportation. These packages will also cover food delivery, hotel bookings, tourist attraction tickets, to telemedicine services for health consultations.
In 2019, Grab launched Grab Toba operations by offering various travel packages near the Toba Lake area.
"By empowering the tourism actors such as the drivers and digitizing the MSMEs in the sector, Grab will continue to support the national economic recovery with the CHSE health protocols as our guidance," Grab Indonesia president Ridzki Kramadibrata said.