THE REMOVAL of community activities restrictions (PPKM) some time ago is expected to boost tourism sector growth, especially in East Java.

“Indeed, with the revocation of (the PPKM), the tourism sector was boosted because there were no specific restrictions. In an effort to deal with the spread of COVID-19, the tourism sector has been limiting the number of visitors or imposing tourists’ quota for some time,” Deputy Governor of East Java, Emil Dardak said in Malang city, East Java, recently.

He explained that despite the removal of the restrictive policy, his administration still reminded people to remain cautious about the risk of coronavirus spread. Even though there are no more restrictions on visitor quotas at tourism destinations, it does not mean that people can ignore the health protocols.

“The healthy lifestyle should not be changed, including using masks, adhering to health protocol. Currently, a number of tourist attractions in the province are still adopting the PeduliLindungi application, he informed. The application is meant to detect COVID-19 spread,” he said.

In some places (the application), he continued is still being used because if a person catches COVID-19, of course, they can’t go anywhere.

According to data provided by the East Java government, as of October 2022, the number of tourist visits has increased to 52.7 million. In the same period the previous year, the number was recorded at just 45.6 million.

Moreover, the region’s tourism sector gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of current prices was recorded at IDR36,986.76 billion in the first quarter of 2022, which then increased to IDR38,243.41 billion in the second quarter. It was recorded at Rp39,408.48 billion in the third quarter.

East Java’s tourism sector boasts 1,316 tourist attractions, comprising 449 natural tourism sites, 354 cultural tourism sites, 513 man-made tourism sites, and 596 Tourism Villages. [antaranews/photo special]