Ministry to tap into local tourism, focus on domestic visitors

Ministry to tap into local tourism, focus on domestic visitors

An officer takes a visitor's body temperature at the entrance to the Puppet Museum in Jakarta. (ANTARA/Public Relations of the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry/sh)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is planning to exploit the potential of domestic tourism and focus on domestic visitors amid the economic contraction created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, deputy minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, said the global economic contraction brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the tourism sector, including in Indonesia.

The declining number of tourists, especially foreign visitors, has prompted Indonesia to revitalize and improve infrastructure at tourist destinations, she added.

“We are preparing to revive tourism in the post-pandemic period. Countries that rely on tourism have also done the same thing to recover their tourism sector," Angela said.

The ministry has also launched InDOnesia CARE, an initiative for Indonesia’s tourist establishments to implement cleanliness, health, safety, and environment (CHSE) measures, as a top priority, she added.

In 2018, the number of Indonesian tourists traveling abroad had reached 9.5 million with travelers spending US$1,090 per person per package. There is potential to shift US$10.355 billion, or about Rp150 trillion, of this business to domestic tourism, Angela said.

The effort to optimize the potential of domestic tourists is expected to inject a new spirit into all stakeholders in the tourism sector, she remarked.

"Not only that, the tourism sector is expected to increase foreign exchange significantly, create new jobs, new value chains, and create a more qualified and sustainable tourism in Indonesia," she added.

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), room occupancy at some starred hotels in Indonesia dropped to 32.12 percent in September, 2020 from 53.52 percent during the same period of 2019.

The average length of stay of foreign and domestic visitors in September was 1.73 days, a decline of 0.11 points compared to the year-ago period.

The number of foreign tourists also fell by 88.95 percent compared to September, 2019, and 5.94 percent compared to August, 2020.

During January-September, 2020, the number of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia reached 3.56 million, a decline of 70.57 percent compared to 12.10 million tourists recorded during the same period of 2019. (INE)

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