AFTER occupying the position of Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno also moved quickly, in implementing in an effort to revive the tourism sector and the creative economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here summarizes the questions from the medias that were specifically answered by Minister Sandiaga Uno during the closing press conference in December 30, 2020.

How much is the target for foreign and domestic tourists visiting next year, and what are the plans to make it happen?

Tourism and the creative economy are the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be seen from the number of visits by foreign tourists (tourists) to Indonesia has decreased drastically. In January to September 2020, the achievement of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia was only 3.56 million or decreased by 70.57% compared to the same period in 2019 of 12.1 million foreign tourists.

The impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector has prompted the Ministry of Tourism to adjust the projection of foreign tourist visits in 2021 of 4-7 million foreign tourists, while to achieve the original target in 2020 of 18 million, do we project that it will materialize in 2025?

In realizing this optimistic target, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will focus on completing infrastructure development mainly in 5 super priority destinations, namely; Lake Toba, Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, and Likupang. Strengthen the 3 A tourism facilities; Attractions, Amenities and Accessibility. In addition, encouraging investment in the tourism sector and strengthening tourism promotion by optimally utilizing digital technology.

The Ministry of Tourism will implement 3 strategies to speed up tourism recovery namely, First, the innovation strategy. By using technology such as big data and current approaches to map, both in terms of potential and strengthening, as well as ensuring that players in the tourism sector and creative economy can survive.

Second, adaptation strategies, including during the current pandemic, by implementing CHSE-based health protocols (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment) in each tourism destination and creative economy lines in an effort to accelerate the restoration of tourist confidence in tourism during the current pandemic.

The third strategy is to collaborate with all parties, including ministries/agencies, local governments, academics, universities, the community and the business world in advancing tourism and the creative economy in the country.

Thailand and Singapore have been aggressively promoting to put their countries in the top of mind of potential international tourists. So what about Indonesia, what are Indonesia’s promotional strategies and preparations in attracting foreign tourists after the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021?

During the pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy continued to intensify promotional activities virtually to a number of countries which were sources of foreign tourists by displaying tourist attractions in a number of destinations, including Bali in an effort to maintain the tourism brand image.

In the new post-pandemic adaptation era, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will continue its tourism promotion strategy with content material that focuses more on CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment) in an effort to accelerate the restoration of world tourists’ trust in Indonesian destinations. Promotions with this new adaptation are carried out, among others, by holding mega events, mega famtrips, and MICE Roadshows to various sources of foreign tourists.

In ensuring President Joko Widodo’s instructions to strategically implement health and safety aspects in each tourist destination, what improvements will the Ministry of Tourism make so that the CHSE is truly carried out effectively both in handling COVID-19 and national economic recovery? Because so far, the Government has always prioritized the implementation of the CHSE, and its effectiveness in handling COVID-19 and economic recovery still far from the maximum?

The implementation of CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment) based health protocols as our joint effort to restore trust in tourism. Domestic and foreign tourists will feel safe and comfortable when visiting tourism destinations in Indonesia because they have implemented the CHSE. The restoration of this confidence will encourage its increase tourist visits in the coming year, so that it will have an impact on the recovery of the tourism economy which in the future will be the main source of foreign exchange for the country.

In 2021, accelerating the CHSE certification for tourist destination centers will be one of the Tourism Ministry priorities. As we know, certification must pass the assessment of the surveyor team, where a number of important points in implementing the CHSE are important values ​​whether or not a tourist destination or tourism industry is certified. These efforts are expected to increase effectiveness in handling COVID-19 and economic recovery.

Accelerating the recovery of Tourism & Creative Economy in five super priority destinations (Toba, Likupang, Borobudur, Mandalika & Labuan Bajo), of course, needs to receive different treatment, considering that each destination has different strengths and weaknesses. According to you, which is the toughest challenge of the five destinations? What are the challenges?

As mandated by President Joko Widodo, this year’s focus will be on these 5 super priority destinations. This destination is expected to be able to bring in quality tourists. This is as the tourism target in the next five years is quality tourism with the hope of getting greater tourism foreign exchange.

Tourism Minsitry sees that these five super priority destinations each have advantages, both in terms of cultural, natural, and cultural attractiveness artificial. We will optimize the advantages of each of these destinations to attract quality tourists. []