THE expected resumption of flights from China to Indonesia in 2023 that would potentially boost tourist visits to Indonesia. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy confirmed that the authority had received requests from several Chinese airlines to resume flights to Indonesia.

According to Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said those requests indicate that China has reopened its doors for foreign tourists, and they could also resume flights to Indonesia. The Chinese authority’s decision to relax physical restrictions and self-isolation policies by allowing the resumption of flights would benefit Indonesia.

“The ministry targets 255,700 Chinese tourists to visit Indonesia in 2023, he noted, adding that the actual figure would likely surpass the target. In 2019, Indonesia had recorded 2.07 million Chinese tourist visits, contributing the second-largest percentage of foreign tourist arrivals after Malaysia, with 2.98 million visits,” he said.

Sandiaga Uno explained that (China) was once in the second place, but now, Australia is in the first place, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, India, and the United Kingdom.

The minister expressed optimism that foreign tourists’ visits to Indonesia would open new jobs for residents and bolster post-COVID-19 pandemic economic and tourism recovery.

“(Regulation) relaxations from China potentially bolster our tourism recovery and open new jobs. I will fight for and assure this. The ministry would ready Indonesia’s main tourism destinations to welcome the visits of foreign tourists, such as marine tourism, the most sought after by Chinese tourists,” he remarked.

Sandiaga concluded that the ministry, along with provincial and regional authorities, will also prepare village tourism in South Sumatra to welcome foreign tourists. [ special]