Astindo lauds early communication by gov't on year-end travel curbs

Astindo lauds early communication by gov't on year-end travel curbs

Illustration - A tourist at an airport. (Pexel)

We hope regulation clarity would allow travellers to prepare and enjoy their vacations better
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia Travel Agents Association (Astindo) commended the government's early communication regarding travel restrictions during the Christmas and New Year's Eve holiday period that allowed industry actors to adjust their activities according to the enforced curbs.

"I agree with the government's decision and commend their early communication," Astindo deputy chairperson Anton Sumarli told ANTARA on Tuesday.

Sumarli reiterated Astindo's support to preventive measures taken by the government to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases, especially as information on the measures was disseminated early to industry actors, thereby leaving no room for confusion on the industry and dispelling the false impression of the government's inconsistency.

"What we need is clarity in regulations that have been drafted by the government after thorough consideration," the deputy chairperson stated.

Related news: COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over: Task force

Sumarli cautioned that a sudden regulation change would trigger mass confusion, especially for travellers that would have to apply for refunds, as their vacation were cancelled and travel agents would potentially be overwhelmed by multitudes of refund requests applied simultaneously.

The uncertainty experienced by travel agents is also detrimental to the industry, as they are compelled to check the enforced regulation daily to anticipate new policies that force abrupt changes in their activities, he added.

"I commend the government's preparedness at this time, and I am optimistic that the announced regulation would not change in future, and no new restrictions would suddenly be announced by the authority," Sumarli stated.

Related news: Preventing the third wave of COVID-19 infections in Indonesia

Regulation clarity would allow travel agents and travellers to prepare their activity timetable to celebrate year-end festivities, he affirmed.

"We hope regulation clarity would allow travellers to prepare and enjoy their vacations better," Sumarli remarked.

Earlier, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno clarified that the year-end travel restriction by designating the entire country under level 3 of the activities restriction enforcement (PPKM) was not aimed at restricting tourism activities.

Related news: PPKM Level 3 applicable across regions at end of year

"Instead, the level 3 PPKM was imposed to ensure strict health protocol adherence by limiting tourism premises' activity hours and visitors' capacity during the Christmas and New Year's holiday period," Uno stated at a press briefing in Jakarta on Monday (Nov 22).

The uniform PPKM level enforced nationwide aims to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases during the year-end holiday period, he added.

"We wish to avoid the COVID-19 case surge trend that always occurred after major national and religious holidays in Indonesia," the minister stated.

Related news: President Jokowi inaugurates Karalloe Dam in Gowa, South Sulawesi

Related news: Jokowi praises fruitful partnership between ASEAN and China