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Q & A with Wishnutama Kusubandio, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, on the Current Condition of Tourism in Indonesia and COVID-19

 

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(Q): Following the corona pandemic, many countries have implemented new requirements for travelers, namely to provide a Medical Check-Up Visa in its visa application. In moving forward, will the Indonesian government also implement a similar policy? Or will the government implement a travel ban for countries currently inflicted by the pandemic? 

(A):  We will have further discussion with the relevant institutions regarding the Medical Check-Up Visa after the State of Emergency status due to COVID-19 is lifted by the central government. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting almost all the nations in the world, certainly WHO will arrange the official SOP, including on traveling. The WHO and UNWTO will certainly oversee this matter.

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(Q): What is the Ministry’s (Kemenparekraf) effort to contain the spread of COVID-19? Does the Ministry have the authority to close tourism sites? 

(A): Minister Wishnutama, through a Decree Number 1/2020 requested all agencies overseeing the tourism and creative economy sector to postponed outdoor as well as indoor activities, including but not limited to, events such as music concerts, festivals, training, bazaar, seminars, fair, and conferences which would be held during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia.

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(Q):  In Singapore, there is the SG Clean certificate. In Indonesia, if a hotel guest is infected with corona or the patient included the hotel in his/her itinerary, what would be the action by the Ministry? 

(A): Tourism is related to hospitality and tourism is deeply affected by perception and rumors. Thus, service is the main thing that has to be carried out by the tourism industry. Currently, Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf continues to coordinate with all parties including industry and hotels. We are now formulating a synergies effort with the industry to assist with cleaning or disinfectant spray. The scheme is currently being formulated. Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf will utilize funds rerouted to assist the hotel industry, and other tourism/creative economy industries. This is important as it will build the public trust and restart the tourism and creative economy industry. The implementation of the cleaning process will also involve and implement the standards set by the Government, in this case, the Ministry of Health or the Government Task Force.

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(Q): Are there plans to close main tourism locations due to COVID-19? 19?

(A): The Ministry has issued a decree in which association/tourism and creative economy industry to implement health protocols that are in-line with the decree issued by the Ministry of Health. There are many tourism areas which are under the management of the private sector, SOEs, and local agencies, which had decided to temporarily cease its operation as an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.  Therefore, the decision to close tourism sites is under the purview of respective parties, by continuing to monitor developments in recent situations and coordinate as well as to conduct extensive communication with central and local government. This also includes the identification of suspect/probable/confirmed COVID-19. What is clear at the moment, the priority of the Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf is to protect the health and safety of the public.

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(Q):  How are the Ministry’s mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in destinations, which until today, still serving the movement of local and international tourists such as Bali?

(A): Kemenparekraf continues to coordinate with other Ministries/Agencies, including local government. The Provincial Government of Bali presently has elevated its alert status to Corona. In order to handle the impact of corona on the tourism and creative economy sector, Kemenparekraf has established a Special Task Force, that will be responsible for the management of the handling of corona from a tourism and creative economy perspective. The impact is very complex as there are many people that rely on it living from the tourism and creative economy industry.

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(Q): All activities which involve many people are advised to be canceled. Thus, how will this affect the activities which have been included in the CoE Tourism 2020?

(A): Kemenparekraf/Baparekraf will continue to support the events in Calendar of Events 2020 and other events once the COVID-19 pandemic is declared finished by the Government.