MINISTER of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno invites tourism and creative economy actors to foster a sense of optimism so that they can rise in the midst of difficult challenges due to the pandemic. The government, said Sandiaga, will make every possible effort to help both from an economic and health perspective.

In his statement on Friday (7/30), he quoted former US President Barack Obama’s statement that hope is the key to being able to rise together against the pandemic.

“Hope and optimism are vitamins that are always able to make us rise and find solutions together. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will certainly be maximal in presenting the efforts needed by tourism and creative economy actors,” said Minister Sandiaga Uno during a virtual audience with City Government and PHRI Bandung City.

Previously, cafe and restaurant businesses in the city of Bandung who were members of the Cafe and Restaurant Association (AKAR) planned to fly the white flag as a sign of concern over the COVID-19 pandemic which had a major impact on the sustainability of their business.

Sandiaga said the COVID-19 pandemic poses an enormous challenge for all aspects of life, where the tourism sector and the creative economy are among the most affected. One of the keys that must be carried out jointly between the government and all stakeholders is communication, coordination, and collaboration.

“I am ready 24 hours to collaborate, coordinate, with various parties because handling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism and the creative economy requires cross-sectoral handling. Both from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs, whatever is needed I will make sure friends can get help,” said Sandiaga.

Sandiaga explained that vaccination is very important as one of the pillars in an effort to suppress the spread of COVID-19 through communal immunity. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in recent times has made vaccination one of the main programs.

The Ministry of Tourism had previously made 6 State Tourism Universities and 3 Authority Bodies under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism to be centers of COVID-19 vaccination. In West Java, in collaboration with industry and a number of parties, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy also presents a similar program, including making tourist destinations as vaccination centers.

“Regarding government assistance for tourism businesses, last year it was carried out in the concept of grant funds, but this year we are directed to provide assistance to businesses so as not to lay off employees. This has been recorded, and the data has been obtained from the Office of Provinces and regencies/cities in West Java). Hopefully we can speed things up to start distributing it with the coordination of the head of the district/city head office,” Sandiaga noted.

He said aids were also prepared by other ministries/agencies as well as local governments. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will also work with the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) to provide accommodation for health workers. So, it is hoped that it can help maximize the role of health workers in dealing with the pandemic at the forefront, and on the other hand help the occupancy rate of hotel rooms.

“If everything is clear, we will wait for submissions from each hospital that has collaborated with hotels and we will provide funding. The ceiling is quite wide and hopefully it can help fill hotels and restaurants,” Sandiaga stated.

Sandiaga on that occasion also invited business actors in this case Kadin to be able to work with the government to expand the reach of Cleanliness, Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) certification. In this way, the level of readiness of the creative business actors in their operations in the era of adaptation to new habits is even greater.

“This CHSE certification must really become the gold standard. If there is a mutual cooperation vaccine, why isn’t there a mutual cooperation CHSE. The pilot project can be started from the city of Bandung,” Sandiaga finished. []