THE Indonesian government continues a number of stimulus programs to support the recovery of the tourism sector from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including grants, interest subsidies, credit restructuring and tourism people’s business credit (KUR).

According to the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto in a press release in Jakarta, said tourism was one of the sectors most affected by the most and was estimated to recover the most recently. So that a special stimulus or program is needed so that there will be improvements and can support the national economy.

“One of the programs that have been prepared by the government, is a tourism grant which is part of the National Economic Recovery (PEN) program which last year has been absorbed by 70% for hotels and restaurants. In 2020, he continued, tourism grant funds which are part of the PEN program will be recorded at IDR3.3 trillion,” he said.

He explained, the government will also expand the Pre-Employment Card program participants in 2021, for workers in the tourism sector. Data validation, credible and accurate data are very important to encourage PEN programs in the tourism sector.

“The government has prepared five Super Priority Tourism Destinations (DPSP) and encouraged the development of five tourism Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to revive the interest of tourists to visit tourist areas. There needs to be a shifting of tourist targets to domestic or domestic tourists, which is estimated at 50-55 million people,” Airlangga stated.

He added that currently, the government is accelerating government regulations for the Lido Tourism SEZ and two tourism SEZs in the Babel area which are still in process, namely the Sungai Liat SEZ and the Tanjung Gunung SEZ.

Airlangga reminded the importance of labor-intensive programs in the tourism sector so that they can be implemented in the first quarter of this year, while still paying attention to the safety and comfort of workers in the tourism sector as well as tourists.

“COVID-19 vaccination needs to be prioritized for workers in the tourism sector, in order to provide a sense of security and comfort when interacting with tourists. The government wants tourism to start again, without neglecting the safety of the community,” he concluded. [antaranews]