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Indonesia’s tourism industry must transform for ‘New Normal’: President Jokowi

Passengers wear masks in the arrival hall of Bali's Denpasar airport. CREDIT: AMILIA ROSA. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

JAKARTA, May 28, 2020, Jakarta Globe. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Thursday the country’s tourism industry should start preparing for the “new normal” by transforming itself according to Covid-19 health protocols and guidelines, Jakarta Globe reported.

“We need to educate the industry about the new normal guidelines. Then we should have trials and simulations, all closely supervised to make sure everyone follows the health protocol,” the president said during an online cabinet meeting at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.

Jokowi said the coronavirus pandemic has changed the state of the global tourism industry. Health, hygiene, safety and security will now be the first things tourists think about when they travel.

The president said quiet alternatives to traditional tourism such as solo traveling, wellness tourism, virtual tourism and staycation will become new trends.

“We must be ready with new innovations to quickly adapt to new global trends,” Jokowi said.

He said since health and safety will be foremost in the tourists’ minds, the new normal guidelines and health protocol must be strictly followed by transportation operators, hotels, restaurants and management of tourist destinations.

Jokowi said he had asked the Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio to prepare a new program to promote domestic tourism.

“We need to focus on encouraging domestic tourism, particularly in popular destinations where the pandemic reproduction number is already below one,” Jokowi said.

The president nevertheless said there is no need to rush in reopening Indonesia’s tourist destinations.

The reopening of the tourism industry will be implemented in stages, starting with educating the public about the new normal guidelines, according to the president.

Jokowi said strict implementation of Covid-19 health protocols will be required before the tourism industry can reopen.

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