Reopening Bali too fast could harm tourism in the long run.
President Joko Widodo today said Indonesia shouldn’t reopen “in haste” while emphasizing the importance of establishing strict health protocols before welcoming both domestic and international travelers.
Speaking at a meeting held via virtual conference earlier today, Jokowi called on Indonesian officials and tourism players to anticipate a massive trend change in traveling, which he said will be more focused on health, hygiene, safety, and security, while also leaning towards solo, wellness and virtual types of tourism.
“After the pandemic we really need to innovate, create changes so we can quickly adapt with the changes in trend which is very likely to take place in global tourism,” Jokowi said.
Indonesia needs to prepare new standards, the president added, while also fostering a new health-oriented culture that is well-informed, tested, and simulated under strict monitoring.
“This is so that the health protocols are truly implemented on the ground, because there are high risks here,” Jokowi said.
“If there’s an imported case [from Indonesia] it will paint a bad image for our tourism and it might stick around, which will only make it difficult for us to fix. So [everything] needs to be properly calculated, and monitored real closely.”
Popular destinations across the country, such as Bali, are already preparing guidelines for health protocols for when travel restrictions are lifted. Here on Pulau Dewata, local officials and tourism players hold the view that the time after COVID-19 will establish a “new era” for the island.
However, Jokowi said today that tourist destinations shouldn’t reopen in haste, further noting that only regions where the COVID-19 reproduction factor — known as R0 and pronounced “R naught” — are below 1 should be promoted for potential visitors.
“Once again, on the field it needs to be extremely strict before we reopen, so that travelers, whether domestic or foreign, can travel safely and members of the public can return to a productive life,” Jokowi continued.
As of yesterday afternoon, Indonesia has recorded nearly 24,000 cases across the archipelago, including 6,057 recoveries and 1,473 deaths.