JAKARTA (BPN) – Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio urged tourism industries to implement health protocols as New Normal in the tourism sector is approaching after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
In an international Tourism Webinar entitled “Changes of Tourism Paradigm in the Era of New Normal” held by Indonesia Tourism Forum (ITF), Friday, he explained that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is currently coordinating with Ministries/Institutions and related stakeholders to prepare protocols that later can be implemented in tourism industries after the pandemic is over.
“Health and safety protocols will be the concern of tourists. We continue to work hard to formulate strategic measures in preparing the health protocols in order to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector,” Wishnutama said.
Wishnutama expressed optimism that the tourism sector in Indonesia is able to recover faster than its previous prediction. Several studies show that tourism needs about 5 years to return to the normal situation after the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he believes that Indonesia can do better than that as long as it is accompanied by the harmonization of stakeholders.
The momentum of tourism areas closure due to the pandemic is also suggested to be an opportunity to evaluate and reorganize tourist attractions, so that later can provide services that leaving a good impression for tourists, including in implementing sustainable tourism.
“We have to normalize the tourism sector faster. We must fully aware that tourism is the backbone of the economy,” he said.
The tourism sector, Wishnutama said, also contributed significantly to employment, bringing in foreign exchange, investments, and stimulate almost all other sectors.
Therefore, the ministry works hard to formulate strategic measures in accelerating the recovery of the tourism sector, ranging from health certification to hosting international MICE and sports events in Indonesia after the pandemic, such as hosting the Mandalika MotoGP in 2021.
He also explained that after the COVID-19 pandemic there will be a new trend of changes in human behavior or New Normal including one of them is having a virtual discussion, which before the COVID-19 appears, this is rarely done.
“This means that the digital era is accelerating rapidly and this is not a temporary thing, post-pandemic. This has to be the new strength of Indonesia. This is one of the futures that must be supported. Therefore, we are optimistic,” he added.
Similar to other countries in the world, almost all tourism destinations, attractions, and facilities are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of hotels and hundreds of restaurants, as well as travel agents, stop their operation. Hundreds of airplanes parked on the runway of the airport and millions of workers in the tourism sector are affected.