THE Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy invites the tourism industry to apply health protocols to welcome the new normal in the tourism sector after COVID-19 pandemic is over.

According to the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio during the International Tourism Webinar with the theme “Changes of Tourism Paradigm in the Era of New Normal” organized by the Indonesia Tourism Forum (ITF), explained, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is currently coordinating with Ministries/Institutions and relevant stakeholders to prepare protocols that can later be applied to the tourism industry after the end of the epidemic.

“The health protocol to safety will come to tourists’ attention. We continue to work hard to formulate strategic steps in preparing health protocols in order to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector,” Wishnutama said.

He explained that I was optimistic that Indonesia’s tourism sector could recover faster than previously predicted. Some studies show that the tourism sector needs about 5 years to return to normal conditions after the COVID-19 epidemic. But I believes Indonesia can do better than that as long as it is accompanied by harmonization of stakeholders

“The momentum of the closure of tourist areas due to the pandemic was also suggested to be an opportunity to evaluate and reorganize tourist attractions. So that later can present services that produce a better impression for tourists, including in implementing sustainable tourism,” he noted.

Wishnutama affirmed that we have to normalize our tourism sector faster. We must fully realize that tourism is the backbone of the economy. The tourism sector also contributed significantly to job creation, bringing in foreign exchange, investment and stimulating almost all other sectors.

He added, that is why, the Ministry of Tourism worked hard to formulate strategic steps in accelerating the recovery of the tourism sector, from healthy certification to hosting international MICE and sports events in post-epidemic Indonesia, such as hosting the Mandalika MotoGP in 2021.

Wishnutama stated that after the COVID-19 epidemic there would be a new trend of changes in human behavior or the so-called new normal including one of them having a virtual discussion, which before COVID-19 appeared, this was rarely done.

“This means that the digital era is accelerating rapidly and this is not a temporary thing, post-epidemic. This must be Indonesia’s new strength. This is one future that must be supported. For this reason, we are optimistic,” Wishnutama concluded.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic the world of tourism was in great demand with significant international growth but now, everything has suddenly turned into a global disaster. OECD estimates show a 45% decline in the performance of the international tourism sector in 2020. And, that number will increase to 70% if recovery is delayed until September 2020.

In Indonesia, like the rest of the world, almost all tourist destinations, attractions and facilities were stopped or closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of hotels and hundreds of restaurants, travel agents are now closed. Hundreds of planes stand on the runway of the airport and millions of workers in the tourism sector are affected. []