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Strategic Steps of Kemenparekraf to Recover Bali’s Tourism

Indonesian tourism sector definitely took a hard hit in the last 9 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the first case was detected in Indonesia in March 2020, the number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia continues to increase until its current 713,000 cases.

This pandemic has caused many tourism destinations, hotels, airports, ports, railway stations, shopping centers, entertainment venues, and culinary spots to be closed to prevent the spread of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. As reported by tirto.id, the Chairman of Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (Perhimpunan Hotel dan Restoran Indonesia – PHRI), Hariyadi Sukamdani claimed that the loss caused by the large-scale social restriction (PSBB) during the Covid-19 pandemic reached IDR 85.3 trillion.

Meanwhile the Covid-19 pandemic also hit Bali’s economy hard. Many lost their jobs as the number of tourists visiting the island dropped significantly. Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has decided to directly supervise recovery strategies for tourism in Bali. Sandiaga will go to Bali at least once a month and carry out his duties from Bali. The initiative aims to get a closer look at the development of tourism activities during the Covid-19 pandemic as Bali’s economy depends largely on visitors.

The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy / Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, said that his party would prepare strategic steps to help restore tourism villages affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Menparekraf Sandiaga, during his office in Bali, conducted a visit to Kutuh Tourism Village, in Badung Regency, Thursday (11/2/2021) night.

Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno will directly lead the recovery process of the tourism sector in Bali, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. To do so, Sandiaga will carry out his duties in the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where tourism is its main source of income.

As Bali’s economy depends largely on visitors, the minister wanted to see and hear the condition of more than 80 percent of the Balinese who depend their lives on the tourism sector first hand. “I will work several days from Bali at least once a month, not just visiting,” Sandiaga said in a statement on Sunday, January 24. “If I work from Bali, I would get a closer look at the development in the tourism sector and report it to the president and vice president,” he added.

The pandemic has hit hard at the Tourism Village, which has an independent status and has even become a national pilot. Before the pandemic, Kutuh Tourism Village with Pandawa Beach as one of its main attractions was usually visited by 3,000 tourists per day. From tourism, this village manages to generate IDR 50 billion per year. “But because of the pandemic, their income has decreased by 90 percent, resulting in more than 200 small businesses and more than 290 workers and 3,000 more residents in this traditional village whose economy has declined,” said Menparekraf Sandiaga. Also attending the occasion, Deputy Regent of Badung Ketut Suiasa, Bendesa Adat Kutuh I Nyoman Egypt, Head of Kutuh I Wayan Badra Traditional Village, Chairman of Pokdarwis / Chair of New Normal Wayan Duartha, COVID Task Force Kutuh Ketut Gita Village, Managing Director of BUMDA, Kutuh Ni Luh Traditional Village Hepi Wiradani, as well as Deputy of Destination and Infrastructure Development at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy / Baparekraf Hari Sungkari and Deputy for Institutional Resources of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy / Baparekraf Wisnu Bring Tarunajaya.

From the results of the review and discussion, the Menparekraf said that his party would prepare programs and strategic steps that were fast, right on target, right on benefits, and on time. “According to Bendesa Adat, the level of survival here is only sufficient until March, so this is an emergency. So I immediately bring back the proposal submitted from the customary village, and will discuss it with the Deputy Regent. Hopefully we can provide a touch of the right benefits, right target, and on time. Because we must really save the tourism sector and the creative economy, “said Menparekraf Sandiaga.

From Kemenparekraf / Baparekraf itself, programs that can be implemented include stimulus, social assistance, the BISA program (Clean, Beautiful, Healthy, Safe), and others. “The programs that can at least drive the activities here, and we must execute them quickly,” Sandiaga said.Kutuh Tourism Village, which also has a soccer field with well-groomed grass, has a flagship program “bolabali”, an annual activity that usually brings in foreign tourists. This year it will be held starting in July 2021 which is expected to be visited by domestic tourists who of course will enliven not only the event but also tourist destinations such as Pandawa Beach.

It is hoped that this activity will become a “sport tourism” event carried out with strict health protocols. Previously, when meeting with the Governor of Bali I Wayan Koster, Menparekraf said that his party together with the Bali Provincial Government are also planning a labor-intensive program worth IDR186 billion which will be realized in 177 tourist villages in Bali. It is expected that 15,000 tourism and creative economy workers can be accommodated in this program every day. The activity of the Menparekraf Sandiaga Uno based in Bali this time will take place.

Menparekraf Sandiaga Uno also stated that the protocol will later be implemented when a region has been declared ready to receive tourists. “President Joko Widodo has instructed not to hurry. In the recovery period, we will first focus on encouraging the mobilization of domestic tourists. Therefore, everything must be prepared first before welcoming the tourists. Indeed, by seeing the readiness of each region. We have coordinated with several regional heads whose regions are almost ready to welcome the tourists and start implementing the protocol,” Ari Juliano Gema said as cited from the ministry’s press release. Statistics Indonesia (BPS) recorded the number of foreign tourists arriving in Indonesia in April 2020 of 160.000 people.

Compared to the number of foreign tourists visit in March 2020, the number decreased by 66.02 percent. As for when compared to the same period in 2019, then the number has decreased by 87.44 percent or as many as 1.27 million people. In that period, the number of foreign tourists visit was dominated by tourists from East Timor that were recorded to visit by 83 thousand in April. The number reached 52.2 percent of the total foreign tourists. Meanwhile, the rest came from Malaysia as many as 62 thousand or 39 percent, Singapore 2 thousand or 1.3 percent, and other 12 thousand visits or 7.5 percent. This number, said Ari Juliano, has been estimated considering the steps of the Indonesian government and also the government of the contributor countries of potential foreign tourists to Indonesia who decided to close access in and out of their country to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Going forward, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy will focus to work on the quality tourism segment which emphasizing more on the level of foreign exchange income rather than attracting mass tourists, or mass tourism, along with the changing of global tourism trends.

We also hope that you will always stay safe and following the health protocol during this time. Here in Bali, we always wait you to come back again and enjoying Bali as much as before the pandemic hit us hard. Stay safe and stay healthy!