Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said he expects around 1.8 to 3.6 million foreign tourists to visit Indonesia this year if the number of COVID-19 cases in the country declines significantly.
The entry of tourists will revive the activities of 34 million workers in the tourism and creative economy sector, he added at a virtual press conference broadcast by National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on its YouTube channel on Thursday.
In 2019–2021, the number of overseas tourist visitors declined by 9.5 percent due to the pandemic, he noted.
He said he is optimistic that the opening of travel lanes with strict health protocols for foreign tourists through the Batam, Bintan, and Bali islands will be enthusiastically welcomed by visitors.
“The implementation of the policy will succeed if we continue imposing disciplined health protocols and optimize the utilization of the PeduliLindungi application,” the minister said.
He further said that tourists from Singapore are very keen to visit Indonesia through the ports in Batam and Bintan islands, which were reopened for foreign visitors on February 25, 2022.
Furthermore, the trial of the COVID-19 pandemic control attempt on tourists visiting Bali Island in February 2022 had been implemented well, he added.
It was proven by the low COVID-19 positivity rate, which was less than 0.5 percent of the total 1,500 visitors tested at the arrival gate, he pointed out.
Uno said his ministry welcomes the cooperation of all ministries and institutions in preparing for the arrival of delegates for a number of international meetings in Bali, such as the 7th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) and the 2022 G20 Summit.
He assured that the accommodation and services received by the meeting participants met international standards on cleanliness, healthiness, safety, and sustainability.
The COVID-19 Task Force had issued Circular Letter Number 13/2022 regarding Health Protocols for Overseas Travelers Entering from Bali, Batam, and Bintan in the midst of COVID-19 Pandemic on March 8, 2022.
Originally published on www.en.antaranews.com