During his visit, he conveyed the hope that all tourist destinations would recover quickly from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and return to normal.
"I hope all countries and all tourist destinations will experience the same thing. However, recovery in Indonesia has been much faster. Now, Bali is already full of tourists, even though it cannot be compared to the pre-pandemic (level), but the tourist visits have reached 60 to 70 percent. We hope that it will return to normal as soon as possible to help all tourist destinations recover from the pandemic," he said, according to an official press statement received here on Thursday.
Besides Likupang, the other DSPs are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara.
The government is preparing supporting infrastructure in the DSPs, such as airports and access roads.
"The infrastructure in North Sulawesi, including the airport, has been repaired and is ready to accommodate a large number of terminals. The road from the airport to Likupang has also been fixed," Widodo informed.
Apart from the land route, the government is preparing a sea route that can reduce the travel time from the city to Likupang to only 15–20 minutes. The President said he believes this could also attract investors to Likupang.
"This can attract investment. We aim to have many five-star hotels in this region, followed by other four-star, three-star, and resorts in Likupang," he added.
The head of state said he is optimistic that the Likupang area will be visited by foreign tourists, both from Europe and Asian countries, such as China, Japan, and South Korea. Moreover, direct flights from China will re-open in February 2023.
The President said he believes the tourism sector will further improve North Sulawesi's economic growth.
"Flights from China will reopen in February. There are three or four planes that will return starting in early February. I think the condition will return to normal. This means that North Sulawesi is supported by the agricultural and tourism sectors, that would be great," he added.
During his visit, the President was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, North Sulawesi Governor Olly Dondokambey, and North Minahasa district head Joune Ganda.
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