Indonesia’s government will provide aid to the country’s tourism industry and related sectors to face next year’s expected tourist boom, following President Joko Widodo’s prediction that the COVID-19 pandemic will last until the end of this year.
“We know that tourism has suffered the hardest impact from COVID-19. People in hotels, restaurants and craft businesses have been impacted,” said the President in a closed teleconference meeting at Bogor Presidential Palace on Thursday (16 April).
As of 13 April, the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association said that 1,642 hotels had to be closed down nationwide due to the pandemic.
In order to avoid further losses, Mr Widodo instructed his subordinates to take three mitigation efforts as soon as possible.
The first one is ensuring that social safety net programs for affected workers in those sectors are conducted meticulously and reached the target.
Secondly, he asked the Ministry of Tourism to reallocate its Budget for labour-intensive programmes that could help informal workers in the tourism sectors.
Lastly, he instructed his administration to provide aid for business players in the tourism industry as well as craft businesses.
“We need to carefully prepare an economic stimulus for business players in the tourism and creative economy sectors, so that they can survive without having to terminate employment on a large scale,” said Mr Widodo.
Mr Widodo believes that the impact of the global pandemic on the aforementioned sectors will end this year and follow by a tourism boom.
”Everyone wants to go out. Everyone wants to enjoy those beautiful tourist sites again. Therefore, we should continue to be optimistic.
“I believe that this [impact of coronavirus to tourism industry] will only last until end of this year. Next year, there will be ‘tourist booming’ in the industry,” Mr Widodo said..”