“There has been a phenomenon amid the COVID-19 pandemic that the rich have become richer, while the poor have become poorer,” he remarked at the national coordination meeting of the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry here on Monday.
Furthermore, the tourism sector in Indonesia experienced a strong decline in the last two years as social restrictions were enforced due to the soaring number of COVID-19 cases, he noted.
Foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia dived by 75 percent in 2021, he informed. Meanwhile, in the period from January to July 2021, the number fell up to 80 percent, he said.
The decline erased nearly two million jobs and posed serious economic challenges, he added.
"Hence, the right policies in terms of target, benefit, and time are needed for the tourism sector," the minister said.
He said he believes that there is still scope in the tourism and creative economy sectors to generate a lot of business and employment opportunities for Indonesian people in the midst of the pandemic.
Speaking on the theme for this year's commemoration of World Tourism Day, which falls on September 27 every year, he said inclusive growth must improve the condition of those who are experiencing various difficulties due to the pandemic, for instance, loss of livelihoods.
The commemoration of the World Tourism Day also aims to encourage the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eliminate poverty, maintain environmental sustainability, ensure gender equality, provide decent work and improve economic growth, as well as reduce inequality, he added.
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