The new Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has three fundamental concepts he wants to use as foundations to speed the revival of the tourism industry so badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and then further develop the potential of the homegrown creative economy through innovation, adaptation, and collaboration,
During the virtual meeting with Departments of Tourism from 34 provinces across the nation on Sunday, 26 December, Minister Sandiaga Uno instructed the local governments to implement the direction of his vision to be able to quickly adapt towards the changing industry in the future.
Since his inauguration on 23 December, Sandiaga Uno said that this new position is a part of contribution to support Indonesia get through the current social and economic crisis. “More than anything, it’s the right time to make a contribution to Indonesia, especially during the current crisis. I don’t want politics to separate us. It’s our life calling,” he said.
Minister Uno said that those three visions will help Indonesia to capture opportunities amid the changing industry which has been accelerated by digitalisation during the 9 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A digital technology approach that maps out all the potentials and strengthens virtualisation and digitalisation, innovation, and creativity of super-priority destinations will be the focus to revive the industry over the next year” Minister Sandi said during the Strategic Meeting to Win the Trust of Foreign Tourists & Tourists to Visit Tourism Destinations in the New Adaptation Era on the 26 December.
In the line with the President’s vision to advance the industry, Minister Sandi aims to enhance innovation in some sectors including culinary, fashion, as well as art, and culture in Indonesia. Not only that, his mission hopes to stimulate development in other sectors such as infrastructure and interconnection.
“We don't just want to innovate. We can innovate products and regulations, but most importantly, we must facilitate the innovation created in the ecosystem of tourism and creative economy,” Sandi said.
Meanwhile, the demand for tourism could also be revived by creating a sense of security and comfort for tourists, expanding tourist connectivity, providing incentives or tour packages, optimizing MICE activities in tourist destinations, providing intensive increases in the purchasing power of local products, and creating jobs as well as tourism grants through regional transfers to hotels, restaurants, and local governments.
In the midst of the ongoing global pandemic, the implementation of health protocols with CHSE ( Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environment) standards must be followed as a part of adaptation to the current situation which allows people to feel safe during their travels and holidays. According to the data from Ministry, there are at least 6,626 industry players that have certified with CHSE. His recent visit to Bali on 28 December was also a part of his initial response to make sure the standards of safety in prioritised tourism destinations in Indonesia were being upheld.
Sandi said that the industry also needs to set good standards capable of providing decent accommodation for domestic tourists. Hence, the market segmentation for tourism and creative economy also need to adapt to give more focus on domestic tourism even though it may develop slower but surer in terms of growth.
According to him, accelerating the performance of the tourism sector must also be carried out across multiple sectors including tourism villages, religious tourism, halal tourism, and various programs that directly involve the community.
If the situation becomes more conducive, international visitors coming from foreign countries can also adapt travel bubbles or travel corridors to control the mobilisation of tourists visiting Indonesia.
“As we can see, the United Kingdom is under alert from the new Covid-19 variant, so we must close our borders for a while. On the other hand, domestic and international tourism has tremendous potential, so if we can focus well on implementing travel bubbles, we can also make sure foreign tourists will feel safe visiting Indonesia,” Sandi stated.
Previously, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had decided to close international borders from 1 January until 14 January 2021 to avoid any possible outbreak caused by the new mutated SARS-CoV-2 virus or other new Covid-19 variants to the archipelago nation.
Minister Sandi will also prioritise open communication and partnership among stakeholders to synergize the work in order to optimally recover the tourism and creative economy in 2021. “There must be a collaboration and open discussion between sectors. No more sectoral egos. We must synergize the work between stakeholders to strengthen each other to restore the industry as a whole,” he added.
Sandi hoped that collaboration could bring the spirit of togetherness which could create a sense of belonging to “build back better” the industry in the future since around 30 million people who work in tourism and the creative economy sector have been significantly affected by the pandemic.