THE Indonesia’s government has distributed tourism grants of IDR3.3 trillion to 101 regencies/cities in 34 Provinces as part of handling the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, especially in the tourism sector.

According to the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio said that the Ministry of Tourism has prepared a Tourism Grant Fund of IDR3.3 trillion, which is part of the National Economic Recovery Program (PEN) to assist the Regional Government (Pemda) and the Hotel and Restaurant Industry.

“Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently experiencing a decline in Regional Original Income (PAD) and financial disruption. Tourism Ministry distributes grant funds to 101 districts/cities in 34 provinces,” Wishnutama said.

He explained that 101 areas were curated based on several criteria, namely 34 provincial capitals in 10 Priority Tourism Destinations (DPP) and 5 Super Priority Destinations (DSP), areas that included 100 Calendar of Events (COE), branding destinations, as well as regions. with revenue from Hotel Tax and Restaurant Tax (PHPR) of at least 15 percent of the total PAD for the 2019 fiscal year.

Minister Wishnutama undelined that tourism grants were carried out through a transfer mechanism to the regions. As much as 70 % for hotel and restaurant businesses based on data on the realization of PHPR (Hotel Tax and Restaurant Tax) in 2019 in their respective local governments.

“As well as 30% for areas that are used as part of handling the economic and social impacts of COVID-19, especially in the tourism sector. This tourism grant will be implemented until December 2020,” he noted.

Wishnutama hopes that this 2020 tourism grant program can help increase the implementation of the CHSE protocol in destinations so as to create a sense of security and comfort for tourists while helping the tourism industry to survive.

“It is hoped that the industry can be helped to improve the readiness of destinations in implementing better hygiene, health, safety and environmental sustainability protocols (4K), or Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE),” he stated.

He concluded that this is the first step in various recovery programs which are also expected to increase the confidence of tourists to visit tourist destinations because proper implementation of health protocols is the key to the success of the tourism sector so that it can rise faster.

Previously, Head of the PEN Task Force Budi Gunadi Sadikin explained, until the 2nd week of October 2020, the Government had distributed IDR344.43 trillion or nearly 50%of the total budget of IDR695.2 trillion. []