THE ASSOCIATION of Indonesian Travel Agents (Asita) estimates that the number of foreign tourist arrivals will still be minimal in 2022.

According to the Chairman of Asita North Sumatra, Solahuddin Nasution in Medan recently said the momentum for the turn of the year, which is usually an opportunity for travel companies to serve customers, is now quiet because of the pandemic. Moreover, since the discovery of the new variant of Omicron, the business of Asita members has not moved.

“With current conditions, according to him, tourism conditions will be the same as last year. The arrival of foreign tourists is still dragging. Even so, the movement of domestic tourists slowly stretched. Of course, this condition does not only occur in North Sumatra, but also other areas in Indonesia and even globally,” he said.

He added, in addition to the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19, namely Omicron, there are several things that make foreign tourists think again when they want to travel. These include travel insurance provisions and quarantine obligations.

Regarding the movement of domestic tourists, he continued, giving a fairly large contribution to the movement of travel companies. Some sectors that enjoy a wave of domestic tourist arrivals are hotels, restaurants, cafes, and souvenir centers.

Meanwhile, the Coordinator of the Distribution Statistics Function of the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) of North Sumatra, Dinar Butar-butar, said that throughout October and November 2021, there were no foreign tourist visits to North Sumatra. Meanwhile, from January to November 2021, 230 tourists came to North Sumatra. That number decreased by 99.48% compared to foreign tourist arrivals in the same period in 2020. [sources/photo special]