SOUTH Sumatra tourism industry’s operators, members of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) and Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), pledged adherence to the Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement (PPKM)-related regulations.

“To support the government’s efforts to reduce the COVID-19 infection rate, we are ready to adhere to the PPKM regulations extended until July 25, 2021, despite it burdening the tourism industry,” South Sumatra GIPI and PHRI chairperson Herlan Aspiudin stated here on Friday (7/23).

Aspiudin expounded that the decision to follow the extended PPKM regulations was agreed upon after a focus group discussion involving the tourism industry’s representatives, Palembang Mayor Harnojoyo, and South Sumatra Governor Herman Deru.

Hotels, restaurants, cafes, entertainment places, and other tourism industry establishments are mandated to adhere to the Home Affairs Ministry’s PPKM regulation until its conclusion on July 25. Once the PPKM period ends on July 26, the provincial and city authorities will relax the industry’s operational regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Governor Herman Deru (also offered us assurance) to implement Governor Regulation No. 37 of 2021 to kickstart economic recovery with strict health protocols in place,” Aspiudin stated.

He also noted that the tourism industry of Palembang and other regions in South Sumatra had always striven to comply with the business premises’ operational regulations as enforced by the local authority. All regulations on health protocols and infection prevention are also being executed appropriately.

Aspiudin also pointed out that despite the industry seeing no issue regarding activities restriction on tourism establishments, they were concerned that the continued extension of restrictions would endanger the continuity of the industry.

After the PPKM extension ended, the PHRI chairperson expected to witness a decline in COVID-19 cases and the tourism industry to reopen with strict health protocols in place.

“I am optimistic that South Sumatra’s tourism industry (would recover and) contribute to the province’s economy while also paying attention to the health of our customers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Aspiudin stated. [antaranews/photo special]