THE RIAU Islands Province Tourism Office proposed a limited opening of the border through a tourism bubble in three regions in the three Sijori countries, namely Singapore, Johor Malaysia and Riau Islands Indonesia.

According to the Head of the Riau Islands Tourism Office, Buralimar in Batam, Thursday (7/22) said we proposed that Sijori be revived, Singapore, Johor and Riau Islands, especially in tourism cooperation. Especially the ‘travel bubble’.

The Riau Islands Tourism Office held a webinar that was attended by business actors in three countries and the Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer (VITO) Singapore and Malaysia, to find out the conditions in the three countries and also the tourism potential. So far, the Indonesian and Singaporean governments have continued to plan for limited border opening using the ‘travel bubble’ in Batam, Bintan and Bali.

According to Buralimar, the government should also open a ‘travel bubble’ conversation with Johor in Malaysia, not only with Singapore. Because many tourists who enter through Johor. Every day (before the pandemic) there were foreign tourists who came to Riau Islands, especially to Tanjungpinang and Batam.

He explained that one of the conditions for opening a travel bubble was handling COVID-19, through vaccination. ‘Crossborder’ is opened when 70% of the population has been vaccinated. Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) is run so that the confidence of foreign tourists is high.

Buralimar is optimistic that if the travel bubble is implemented, many foreign tourists will come to the country. Evidently, from the webinar attended by around 100 participants, it indicates that many Singaporeans and Malaysians have longed to travel to Riau Islands.

This was also agreed by VITO Singapore, Sulaiman Shehdek, who stated that if the travel bubble has been implemented, many Singaporeans will want to vacation in Riau Islands.

Meanwhile, tourism activist Sumantri Endang assessed that the Lagoi Tourism Area is the readiest for the application of the travel bubble. The exclusive area in Bintan Regency has even prepared various health and security plans in its implementation.

“What is 100% ready is Lagoi. Residents do not mix with tourist attractions. People are not allowed to go in and out,” he concluded. [antaranews/photo special]