There is a plan from the Saudi Arabian foreign minister to visit Indonesia at the start of next month. This is an opportunity for us to discuss the issue
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government welcomed Saudi Arabia's decision to lift the travel ban for its citizens to visit Indonesia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted here on Tuesday.

The Saudi authority had earlier banned its citizens from embarking on international travel to 16 countries, including Indonesia, due to the spread of COVID-19.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, in her communication directly with her Saudi Arabian counterpart, spoke at length about the latest situation in Indonesia with regard to the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

She said that Indonesia is one of the countries that had adequately handled the COVID-19 pandemic up until today.

"There is a plan from the Saudi Arabian foreign minister to visit Indonesia at the start of next month. This is an opportunity for us to discuss the issue," she remarked during a work meeting with the House of Representatives' Commission I last week.

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Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno encouraged Saudi tourists to come and visit Indonesia in order to boost the tourism and creative economy sectors to support economic recovery and open job vacancies.

Saudi Arabia is one of the priority countries for Indonesia in terms of international tourists.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics data, the number of Saudi Arabian tourists visiting Indonesia in 2019 had reached 157,512, with an average spending of US$2,277, or around Rp32 million, per tourist per visit.

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Uno also updated Saudi Arabian Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khatib of the situation of COVID-19 in Indonesia and the measures being taken.

"The vaccination program and COVID-19 handling measures in Indonesia has been recognized by the world and seen as 'best practice' that brings a positive impact towards economic regrowth," he stated.

Up until May 23, 2022, the positivity rate of COVID-19 in Indonesia was recorded at 0.34 percent, while 166.93 million people had received their second dose of vaccine. The number indicates 80.15 percent of the total population.

Meanwhile, 44.3 million people have received their booster shots, or around 21.28 percent of the population.

Additionally, some 11,968 tourism businesses across 34 provinces were awarded the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Stability (CHSE) certifications.
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Translator: Yashinta DP, Aria Cindyara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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