INDONESIAN government needs to make policies that can ensure that foreign tourist arrivals can recover faster because historically, the performance of the tourism sector requires a long time to recover after the crisis.

According to Senior Associate Director of Colliers International, Ferry Salanto in Jakarta said, as we know, the tourism sector is the most affected by the pandemic. Based on UNWTO studies, from a number of global impact crises that occurred in the 21st century, it turned out to require a minimum of a dozen months to restore the performance of foreign tourist arrivals.

“For example, the SARS crisis that has hit a number of countries in the East and Southeast Asia region since March 2003, apparently requires the recovery of foreign tourist arrivals for 11 months on a global average, and Asia as the most affected region needs 14 months,” he said .

He added, the UNWTO study also showed another example, namely the global financial crisis that occurred since January 2009, apparently making foreign tourist visits only recover on a global average 19 months later. In fact, Europe affected by the worst financial crisis, needs recovery time of up to 29 months.

“Regarding the COVID-19 case, Ferry is worried that the recovery time of tourist visits may take longer to be able to recover to normal performance,” Ferry said.

Previously, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission X Hetifah Sjaifudian wanted the tourism sector to be able to recover in normal times, given that an increase in tourism performance also meant increasing state revenue.

“Tourism is expected to be a pillar of the country’s foreign exchange earnings in addition to exports and service trade. I believe that the tourism sector can recover, among others, because Indonesia as a tropical country has a lot of interesting tourist attractions,” Hetifah Sjaifudian noted.

In addition, she said, Indonesia, which is also known to have a very high level of ethnic and cultural diversity, is also considered to be an extraordinary attraction for tourists.

Hetifah explained that the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and Commission X of the Indonesian Parliament were also formulating policies and regulations to restore Indonesian tourism. Moreover, tourism is the sector most affected by COVID-19, so various strategies and breakthroughs are needed to overcome it.

“We need strategies and breakthroughs, considering that hundreds of thousands of people work in the tourism sector and their impact on the country’s economy must be seriously considered,” she concluded. [antaranews/photo special]