International flights not opened for foreign tourists yet: Hartarto

International flights not opened for foreign tourists yet: Hartarto

A new commuter line serving Solo-Yogyakarta is expected to help boost tourism.  (ANTARA FOTO/Hendra Nurdiyansyah/aww)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, has said Indonesia has still not opened all international flight routes, particularly for foreign tourists, this year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Now, there are travel bubbles based on bilateral agreements," the minister said while speaking at the 2021 MNC Group Investor Forum here on Tuesday.

But, currently, a limited number of international flights have been opened in Indonesia, mainly to cater to people who need to travel for some specific purpose and for essential trips.

Meanwhile, to encourage tourism, the government is relying on domestic tourists while urging them to adhere to health protocols so that the spread of COVID-19 can be controlled, the minister said.

Hence, following the rollout of the nationwide vaccination program, the government has been preparing a policy package for tourism, he added.

/“Domestic tourists are serving as our PR, and we hope the vaccination program can help us achieve herd immunity as 70 million people are expected to be vaccinated by the middle of the year. That will be a game-changer for the tourism sector,” he remarked.

In addition, the government is preparing a policy to further support hotels, restaurants, and cafes, he informed.

"We are working on it. We will find a solution so that the operation in that sector is not too complicated. The government is currently reviewing it," he said.

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Office in Jakarta, the number of foreign tourists visiting Jakarta dived 94.3 percent to 1,244 in January, 2021 from 21,858 in December, 2020.

“Compared to the same month last year, the number of tourist arrivals in January, 2021 also plummeted 99.28 percent,” said chief of the BPS Office in Jakarta, Buyung Airlangga, during an online press conference on Monday.

South Korea (90) led in the number of tourist arrivals in January, 2021, followed by Saudi Arabia (66), China (61), the United States (52) and Japan (44). (INE)

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