TRANSPORATION Minister Budi Karya Sumadi stated that connectivity in the transportation sector also supports growth of the tourism sector in the ASEAN region. According to Sumadi, the two sectors should support each other in post-pandemic COVID-19 recovery.

“We continue to improve transportation connectivity after the pandemic to support growth of the tourism sector, which is also affected,” he noted in a statement received here on Friday (11/10), 2023, at a meeting of ASEAN leaders and senior officials in the transportation sector that took place in Laos.

Sumadi stated that the national aviation sector had experienced post-pandemic recovery. The recovery has reached 85% for domestic flights and 75% for international flights based on data of September 2023. This recovery is deemed faster as compared to that recorded in other countries in the Asia-Pacific.

Nevertheless, he drew attention to the existing challenges that should be handled related to the increase in aviation fuel prices, limited availability of spare parts, and reduction in the number of aircraft fleets amid the increase in passengers and public expectations for affordable airline ticket rates.

Sumadi further pointed out that the cruise sector was also significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing a decline of up to 91.67% in 2020.

He stated that in order to drive growth of the cruise ship industry, which will support the tourism sector, Indonesia has increased the number of ports to facilitate the departure and arrival of cruise ships to the country.

“Along with the easing of travel restrictions and improving pandemic conditions, in the last two years, it has begun to increase gradually,” he remarked. [antaranews]