OPTIMISM for the revival of the tourism sector and the creative economy is now getting stronger along with the COVID-19 vaccination program and various government policies related to the tourism sector. However, to build optimism in the world of tourism in the second year of COVID-19, it requires cooperation from all relevant stakeholders.

According to the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno revealed, currently the Ministry of Tourism is boosting domestic tourism visits, among others, through the Bangga Berwisata Di Indonesia (Proud Tour in Indonesia) program (#diindonesiaaja). There are 55 million middle-class Indonesian citizens in Indonesia who have the potential to be worked on to be able to travel within the country.

 “Previously we focused on catching Thailand, Malaysia with millions of international tourists. I was briefly wishing, now we still hope to continue but because of COVID we have to calibrate it. But there are domestic tourists who I short are wisdom, this is our wisdom, we have more than 55 million middle class citizens who are very capable and want to travel,” said Sandiaga Uno in a Forwada discussion entitled “Awakening the Optimism of the Nusantara Pariwista Industry,” Thursday, (4/3).

In a webinar event sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno also revealed that to encourage foreign and domestic tourist visits at this time it was inseparable from the COVID-19 epidemic which had entered its second year.

“The Tourism Ministry wants to restore the tourism industry as soon as possible, but beforehand it must be able to ensure that the number of COVID-19 transmission is under control. Currently, the implementation of Restrictions on Micro Community Activities (PPKM) by the government has been quite successful in reducing the number of COVID-19 transmission significantly, from 15 thousand per day to 5 thousand per day. This is a breath of fresh air so that we are more disciplined in complying with the micro PPKM,” he noted.

Sandiaga said, seeing the development of COVID-19 in this second year, to boost tourism visits, both foreign and domestic, a colossal collaboration was needed. The collaboration must be established with various agencies related to agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Law & Human Rights, the COVID-19 Task Force, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Transportation as well as elements of society and the business world.

Regarding when the tourism industry can revive, Sandiaga Uno admits he is optimistic that this will happen in the second and third quarters of this year. If asked about time, I want to be more optimistic, I want to give hope, I want to convey that if we continue to be disciplined and this COVID-19 number can be kept under pressure, I see that in the second and third quarters we have started to improve in terms of creative economy events and recovery from tourism and the revival of our economy.

Meanwhile, Nia Niscaya, Deputy for Marketing of the Ministry of Tourism, added that in 2021, Tourism Minsitry is preparing to welcome the recovery of the country’s tourism sector by relying primarily on domestic tourists while preparing for the arrival of foreign tourists.

“In terms of the current marketing strategy of the Tourism Ministry, the most important thing is to build the trust of business actors and also to build market confidence, that Indonesia is ready for a new normal. This is because there is a change in trends in the tourism sector, where now it is not the destination to attract tourists to come or not, but what is the readiness of health protocols at tourist sites,” she affirmed

Nia added, nowadays people are more looking for tourist locations that are less crowded, oriented towards outdoor nature, health wellness and adventure, in terms of flights people prefer direct flights, or if domestic ones are safe traveling, go with family.

She emphasized that tourism marketing is currently very dependent on handling the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, currently all tourism sectors must be able to adapt, innovate and collaborate. Tourism Ministry itself continues to collaborate with various parties in building the perception that Indonesia is ready for a new normal. [ special]