THE decisiveness of government policy and the discipline of the community in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 are the main keys in economic recovery, especially in the tourism sector.

According to the Deputy Chairperson of the Association of Tourism Travel Companies (ASITA),  Budijanto Ardiansjah said the tourism sector is quite difficult to recover if there are still concerns about the COVID-19 debate. In addition, in order for the tourism sector to recover, the government needs to help businesses from their decline so that when the pandemic ends they are ready for activities.

“In my opinion, what is needed at this time is to help business players from the downturn so that when the pandemic ends they still have the mentality & capital to re-start their business. Furthermore, state spending is also directed productively through good events and managed by travel agents,” Budijanto said.

Budijanto explained that ASITA had proposed a funding loan from the government to the travel industry. The proposal, he continued, was then followed up by the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI). However, the mechanism is not yet known, but I have proposed to divide 3 classifications, namely small and medium size with small and medium priority assisted.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Indonesian Tourism Scholarly Association (ICPI) Azril Azhari said to restore the tourism sector that must be prepared in advance is an improvement of 5 weaknesses in tourism competitiveness. Starting from cleanliness, security, service infrastructure, readiness to sustainability.

“It is also necessary to focus on increasing our visitors attraction, which is the uniqueness and authenticity of each of our destinations/events that are in accordance with our local wisdom,” Azril said.

After fixing the weaknesses of tourism competitiveness and attractiveness, the government must also focus on how to reduce the outbound domestic tourists.

“It means not only for foreign tourists or domestic tourists, but it must be balanced and there must be an effort to reduce our outbound tourists,” Azril noted.

Meanwhile the Minister of Tourism & Creative Economy, Wishnutama said for the recovery of the tourism sector, the Ministry of Tourism will focus on working on domestic tourists first to restore the tourism sector after being severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only that, the Ministry of Tourism will also seek to accelerate the pace of recovery in the tourism sector and the creative economy.

“For the initial stage, we will try to encourage domestic tourists first, then we will bring in foreign tourists. Ministry of Tourism actually compiled various strategic scenarios that are very basic in the 2020 work plan such as tourist facilities that are in accordance with hygiene standards, toilet cleanliness, safety, security,” he added.

The Ministry of Tourism is also coordinating with Ministries/Agencies as hard as they can to find ways to accelerate the pace of recovery in the tourism sector and the creative economy because other countries will also try hard to bring tourists.

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic has made new human behavior different from the previous one. Behavior that is more concerned with health by always using a mask, washing hands regularly, maintaining immunity, exercising, eating nutritious food, to always keep a safe distance to avoid the chain of transmission of COVID-19. Changes in behavior are also likely to occur in tourists when visiting a destination. [sources/photo special]