Foreign tourist arrivals in April 2020 decreased sharply by 87.44 percent to 160 thousand in April 2020, from 1.27 million in April 2019 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data stated.

"The impact of COVID-19 on tourism was extraordinary. The decline in foreign tourist arrivals began in February and then in March, while the decline in April was larger," BPS Head Suhariyanto stated via videoconferencing in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals in April 2020 also plunged by 66.02 percent from that in March 2020.

The data showed that 755 foreign tourists arrived by flights, 46.56 thousand by modes of sea transportation, and 112.73 thousand by vehicles.

The number of foreign tourists arriving at airports in April 2020 decreased by 99.90 percent from that during the corresponding period in the previous year.

A 99.79-percent drop in foreign tourist arrivals was recorded at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in April this year, a decrease of 99.81 percent at the Lombok International Airport (NTB), and 99.82 percent at the Ahmad Yani Airport in Central Java.

Meanwhile, the Husein Sastranegara Airport in West Java, Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta, Sam Ratulangi Airport in North Sulawesi, Minangkabau Airport in West Sumatra, Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport in Riau, Supandio Airport in West Kalimantan, Hasanuddin Airport in South Sulawesi, and Sultan Badaruddin II Airport in South Sumatra witnessed a 100-percent decline.

"This is since almost all countries are applying strict health protocols (in accordance with the lockdown) owing to the COVID-19 pandemic," Suharyanto pointed out.

Indonesia is on the lookout for a breakthrough to breathe new life into the tourism industry amid the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he stated. (ANTARA)


Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Bambang Soesatyo, has asked the government to review its visa exemption policy for tourists to prevent a massive spread of COVID-19 infections once the tourism sector reopens.

“The visa-free policy must be reviewed, especially for countries prone to COVID-19," Bambang Soesatyo said during a webinar held by STP Trisakti here on Tuesday.

Indonesia must strictly scrutinize foreign tourists and make sure they are free from the novel coronavirus, he added.

The Golkar Party politician said he believes the tourism sector will rise in the new normal. That's because people would need entertainment after the long stay at home, he explained.

"The tourism sector must be (given) a priority in revamping the economy, and become the country's foreign exchange target," he continued.

To improve the competence of human resources in the tourism sector, higher education in tourism must be developed, he stated.

Tourism concerns many aspects, ranging from education, culture, religion, to historical values, he noted.

"Hence, we need to prepare a new strategy in the tourism field. New standards need to be prepared. I am sure once the pandemic ends and we embrace the new normal, the first thing that will happen is a surge in flights and increased (demand for) hospitality accommodation," he remarked.

Director general of vocational education, Education and Culture Ministry, Wikan Sakarinto has sought cooperation from campuses and the tourism industry, particularly in the adherence of the health protocols in the new normal. (ANTARA)





The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has prepared strategies to cope with an expected drop in foreign tourist arrivals on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement released here on Tuesday, spokesperson for the ministry's Task Force for COVID-19 Handling, Ari Juliano Gema, said the ministry has estimated a significant fall in foreign tourist visits to Indonesia due to the pandemic.

"We have prepared strategies to anticipate the decline in foreign tourist visits by applying new normal protocols in the sector," he added.

The protocol will be applied in regions which are ready to receive tourists.

"President Joko Widodo has instructed us not to act hastily. During the recovery period, we will first focus on efforts to mobilize domestic tourists," Gema added.

The implementation of the protocol, he said, will depend on regional preparedness. The ministry is working on coordinating with regions which are ready to apply the protocols.

The Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) has recorded a sharp fall in tourist visits to Indonesia to 160 thousand in April, 2020, a 66.02-percent decline compared with March (month-on-month).

Compared to the same period last year, the number of tourists has dropped by 87.44 percent, or 1.27 million.

Travelers from Timor Leste dominated tourist arrivals in the month of April this year, accounting for around 83 thousand, or 52.2 percent, of the foreign tourist arrivals in the month, followed by Malaysia (62 thousand, or 39 percent), and Singapore (two thousand, or 1.3 percent). Travelers from other countries accounted for 12 thousand, or 7.5 percent, of the tourist arrivals.

A decline in tourist arrivals has been anticipated as many countries, including Indonesia, have barred visitors to curb COVID-19 transmission.

"To reopen the tourism sector, we need to apply standard procedures in public facilities that are aimed at disciplining the public to adhere to health protocols in the sector," Gema said.

In future, the ministry will focus on the development of quality tourism that emphasizes on efforts to increase foreign exchange revenue, rather than focusing on mass tourism alone, he added.

Earlier, on Sunday (May 31, 2020), Gema had said the protocols for the tourism sector under the new normal would focus on hygiene, health, and safety in conducting businesses.

The ministry would ensure that tourism and creative economy actors are ready to welcome the new normal by applying protocols focusing on the three aspects, he added.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio has urged the tourism industry to implement health protocols during the new normal.

The ministry has worked in coordination with related ministries and stakeholders to prepare protocols applicable in the sector, he noted. (ANTARA)


The Indonesian government has planned to establish a new food estate in the country to ascertain sufficient food supplies for the public as part of the implementation of the National Strategic Program (PSN).

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto noted in a statement here on Tuesday that the new food estate will be located in Pulang Pisau District in Central Kalimantan.

"All parties will be involved in the program. This will be a sustainable program that will benefit the nation," Hartarto remarked.

Development of the food estate has become part of the government's National Strategic Program to be implemented within the next three years.

The Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantage Regions and Transmigration stated that the agriculture intensification program will cover 10,594 hectares of transmigration area in 55 villages.

Minister of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Sofyan A. Djalil highlighted the need for further survey and mapping in the region designed as a food estate.

"The survey must involve ministries and institutions. To determine the boundary of forest area, we must be accompanied by the related institution to identify the limit," Djalil stated.

Furthermore, the minister noted that the Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) and National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan) will have to furnish the basic map to view the region's agricultural data.

Djalil was optimistic that the food estate would become a sustainable program. Moreover, he suggested to establish a Project Management Office (PMO).

"I think the program can run well, but as a precautionary measure against any hindrance, we need to establish a PMO. With the establishment of this PMO, we hope to see no failed project," Djalil affirmed. (ANTARA)

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