Tourists visit the Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, on Feb. 13, 2020. (Antara Photo/Anis Efizudin)

Grab’s Technology to Enhance Holiday Experience in 5 “New Balis”

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

FEBRUARY 04, 2021

Jakarta. What better way to boost mid-pandemic tourism experience than to use technology? The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is teaming up with tech giant Grab to enhance the tourism experience in the five super-priority tourist destinations.

Bali is undoubtedly among the world's top tourist destinations and Indonesia's backbone for tourism. Bali Government Tourism Office revealed in 2019, around 6.27 million foreign tourists directly visited the island, accounting for 38.96 percent of the direct foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia.

Multiplying the "Bali effect" in other destinations would take national tourism to greater heights. 

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has selected five destinations to be built as the “new Balis”, namely Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Likupang in North Sulawesi, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara.

Unfortunately, the virus outbreak has dealt a fatal blow to the tourism sector. Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno, however, ensured the new Balis plan is still on despite the pandemic. It is also among the government’s strategies to bring the Covid-wrecked tourism back to life.

“As instructed by President Jokowi, this will be a tough year and so we are focusing on preparing the five super-priority destinations,” Sandiaga said in a recent statement.

The preparation goes beyond infrastructure. The ministry is looking to boost the tourism experience in these destinations, especially in the times of a pandemic. 

“Not just infrastructure or transportation, we will work on the tourism experience. We have prepared programs and collaborated with various parties to disseminate the cleanliness, health, safety, and environment sustainability [CHSE] protocols," Sandiaga said.

In response, Grab offers several initiatives that can potentially boost tourism in the five super-priority destinations. According to Grab Indonesia president Ridzki Kramadibrata, implementing digital tourism via Grab Travel Pass can give a new touch to the holiday experience. 

“Not only for booking rides, but tourists can order food, book hotels and attraction tickets, and access telemedicine. We provide all these things in one digital package,” Ridzki said.

To support environmentally-friendly tourism, Grab has a fleet of of 5,000 electric vehicle (EV) units, ranging from cars, motorcycles and scooters. The EV cars are already available in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tangerang.

"E-scooters would be suitable for tourist destinations such as the Borobudur Temple," he said.

Grab's plastic-partitioned online taxis, GrabCar Protect and GrabBike Protect, can help regain people's trust to travel to the five super-priority destinations amid the virus outbreak. The decacorn will also continue to get more of their GrabFood partners CHSE-certified via their GrabMerchant app, Ridzki added.

In addition, Grab will also collaborate to accelerate digital transformation for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the creative economy sector. This aligns with the government's initiatives #BeliKreatifLokal ('Buy Local Products') and #BanggaBuatanIndonesia ('Proud of Indonesian Products') to help MSMEs survive the pandemic.

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