Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Batam city government, Riau Islands, is ready to welcome foreign tourists from Singapore under the COVID-19 travel bubble scheme, Batam Cultural and Tourism Office head Ardiwinata said in Batam on Saturday.

"Overall, both the local government and tourism business players are very ready to welcome the arrival of tourists," he added.

According to the plan, foreign tourists will begin arriving in Batam from Wednesday (February 23, 2022) to travel inside the bubble system in the Nongsa Sensation Area.

Ardiwinata expressed the hope that the first arrival of tourists would be a positive motivation for Batam and a signal of tourism recovery in Indonesia.

"Keep the trust for Batam. Do not let bad things hurt the government's efforts towards restoring tourism," he said.

Meanwhile, Batam city regional secretary Jefridin invited all tourism industry players and related parties to make efforts to make a good impression on every tourist.

"We have to do well on the first impression. It will have an impact on the future of Batam tourism," Jefridin remarked after accompanying COVID-19 Handling Task Force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito and Ministry of Tourism marketing deputy Nia Niscaya for a review of travel bubble readiness at Nongsapura Ferry Terminal on Saturday.

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He said he hoped that the travel bubble policy will be successful and have a positive impact on tourism and the economy of Batam city.

"It has to be memorable and successful. This first travel bubble will reflect the success of the next travel bubble," he said.

Meanwhile, Riau Islands Tourism Office head Buralimar said that the Singaporean Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has issued several directives to regulate departures from Singapore to Riau Islands.

Tourists departing from Singapore have been instructed to stay for at least 14 days in Singapore prior to departure and undertake two COVID-19 PCR tests, before and after departure, he noted.

"Upon arrival at Nongsapura Port in Batam, tourists must also register their e-HAC and PeduliLindungi accounts," he said.

Tourists must also take out health insurance valued at 30 thousand Singapore dollars, or around Rp300 million, a port official said.

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Translator: Yuniati N, Kenzu T
Editor: Suharto
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