Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said the enthusiasm of holidaymakers during the Christmas and New Year holiday period has helped support national economic and tourism recovery.

Residents' confidence to travel returned in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia was brought under control and vaccinations continued attracting massive public turnout nationwide, he said.

"In spite of our positive records, we must remain vigilant to the COVID-19 Omicron variant," Uno cautioned at a press briefing in Jakarta on Monday.

He expressed confidence that the improving pandemic situation would translate into better tourism performance in 2021-end compared with 2020.

The minister pointed out the Ancol Dreamland tourism park in North Jakarta recorded 18 thousand visitors on Christmas (December 25, 2021) and 9 thousand visitors on the New Year holiday (January 1, 2022).

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Meanwhile, the Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park in East Jakarta recorded 14 thousand and 16,137 visitors on two consecutive Sundays (December 26, 2021, and January 1, 2022), and Ragunan Zoo in South Jakarta recorded 17,866 and 16,909 visitors last weekend (January 1–2, 2022), he added.

"We also have the same situation on Bali Island. Despite foreign tourists being minimum, domestic tourists have begun to throng Bali again," Uno noted.

Moreover, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I reported that 11,271 passengers were flown in 81 flights during the New Year holiday, and the company expects up to 15 thousand passengers to depart from Bali Island by the end of the holiday period, he said.

The Indonesia Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI) also reported an increase in occupancy rates during New Year's Eve, though the increase was not uniform nationwide, the minister informed.

An official from PHRI's Bali branch informed that the average occupancy rate in Bali hotels during the 2021 Christmas period was 55 percent, he said.

The minister further said he is optimistic that the year-end occupancy rate will increase by 5–10 percent though the industry recorded only an average of 40–50 percent occupancy rate in December, 2021.

"Domestic tourists have contributed around 95 percent to the recorded occupancy rate," Uno said.

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Translator: M Baqir Idrus A, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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