IT IS predicted that ecotourism products in Indonesia will be in great demand  post-COVID-19 pandemic, especially with the presence of “new normal” conditions or new trends in travel where tourists will pay more attention to tourism protocols, especially those related to health, safety, and comfort.

According to the Deputy for Tourism Products and the Implementation of Activities (Events) of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Rizki Handayani during the Ecotourism Webinar, Wednesday (5/20) explained, this pandemic changed the types and types of destinations and management of destinations including eco-tourism activities. For this reason, it is necessary to evaluate and re-arrange ecotourism travel patterns that are adjusted to new normal conditions.

“We predict that nature-based or outdoor tourism activities will rebound most quickly because ecoturism is not mass tourism but special interest tourism. We support the return or even development of ecotourism in Indonesia. In the future, we will concentrate on Ecotourism tourism and Wellness Tourism,” Rizki Handayani said.

Likewise, the Director of the Indonesia Ecotourism Network (INDECON), Ary S. Suhandi, explained that Ecotourism, Adventure Tourism, and Wellness Tourism are expected to indeed be the products that are most in demand post-epidemic. Especially for activities with small and active groups such as outdoor interactions, nature education activities for families, to activities that contribute to nature conservation.

“Adventure is also a great opportunity, especially activities in small groups and dynamic activities, such as trekking, snorkeling, and diving. Wellness Tourism is also predicted to rebound quickly. Many people need high routine post-work fitness with the market being people from the city, “he said.

Ary explained, ecotourism is one way to increase tourists’ concern on the importance of maintaining the environmental quality of the area where they travel, only in the context of ecotourism needs to be improved, where foreign exchange profits are not the only orientation, but also think about the preservation and involvement of local communities.

“COVID-19 pandemic teaches us many things, in addition to risk mitigation, one of which is the importance of visitor management, managing quotas, and dividing large groups into small groups during tourism activities,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Director of Via Via Tour & Travel Sry Mujianti said, after the pandemic there will be a new travel pattern. The combination of nature and culture is usually the main choice of tourists. This will be more complete if supported by strong interpretations in each destination.

“For example, for the Jogja-Solo-Semarang (Joglosemar) cluster, it usually connects the city-village and then there is the East Java cluster, from Malang to Banyuwangi. Tourists will prefer to travel relatively short distances or take shorter time,” she concluded. []