Nusa Tenggara Tourism (NTB) will open to tourism on June 20, with the 3 Gili islands slated to be the pilot.
“NTB is preparing to open tourist destinations while paying attention to the detailed implementation of health protocols” said Head of the NTB Tourism Office H Lalu Mohammad Faozal yesterday (7/6).
Three tourist destinations of the Gili islands in North Lombok said will be a pilot project to start a New Normal in NTB in the tourism sector said Faozal. Faozal himself reviewed the readiness of the facilities in Gili Trawangan yesterday.
He said the reopening of tourist attractions was carried out to restore the tourism industry and the economy while still adhering to Covid-19 protocols. “The New Normal 3 Gilis we hope will be an example for other tourist destinations in Indonesia” he said.
If there are no obstacles, the opening is planned for June 20. The opening will also be done officially. Before that, the NTB Covid-19 Task Force will examine its feasibility. “Starting June 11, we will begin socialization and preparations” he said.
The NTB Tourism Office is currently confirming New Normal SOPs based on cleanliness, health and safety (CHS). “This SOP can later be implemented by tourism businesses in NTB,” he added.
Several scenarios have been drafted for the New Normal SOP preparation plan. In addition, a joint team of provincial and district offices and related parties has been formed.
The SOP will guide workers and tourism industry players in managing activities based on Covid-19 protocols. Its’ basis remains CHS (cleanliness, health & safety) with the focus on surviving normally in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that has not subsided.
The provincial government, said Faozal, has coordinated with the North Lombok Regency Government to ensure that not just any tourist can visit the three Gili Islands. “Inspections will be carried out in every border region in the district all the way to the coastal areas” he said.
Tourists must be able to show a health certificate and Covid-19 rapid test results. The regulations apply to individuals as well as small groups and they must apply health protocols by wearing face masks.
“Regional vigilance is important as the basis of permissible activities. We will conduct surveillance and continue to coordinate with regions that will open tourism sites” he said.
The application of strict health protocols must also be carried out by all hotels, restaurants, service providers and other tourism businesses. They must have assigned representatives from the task force organizations.
“The tourism industry must rise. But, not just open freely. All policies must remain focused on health aspects” he said.
Faozal added that the central, provincial and district governments were preparing the recovery phase for after the pandemic passed.
The NTB Provincial Government itself has designed the stages to be carried out, including coordinating and identifying the impacts caused, both domestically and internationally.
Then carry out recovery processes for all destinations ranging from attractions, amenities, accessibility, recovery of Human Resources, marketing and industry. Also marketing both domestically and abroad based on tourism products that have been prepared.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Gili Hotels Association (GHA) Lalu Kusnawan said, before the three Gilis are fully opened to tourists, all aspects must be ensured ready. They cannot be opened immediately without careful preparation.
Kusnawan divided the preparation into three stages, the first stage being maintenance. They have to do the cleaning first, because since the Gili Islands were closed, some properties must be repaired.
“So we need to do maintenance, in addition we will prepare human resources so that employees can adjust to the Covid-19 protocols” he said.
After that, tourism operators need to prepare the environment as a whole, especially regarding the education of local residents. That aspect is also very decisive so that the three Gili islands remain orderly and becomes the green Covid-19 area. “Everyone who comes in and out of the three Gili islands must be ensured healthy, proven by a medical certificate” he said.
Therefore, the readiness of health facilities and guard posts is required so that the Gili islands remain disease free. All of this requires quite a long preparation. “But if the government declares June 20, we will speed up all the preparations by involving many parties” he said.
After everything is ready, then they will carry out promotions. “Our target market is local Lombok tourists first, because transportation access is easy” he said.
According to Kusnawan, the current conditions are quite challenging for tourism operators. They will now have to sell tour packages that are different than previously, where health is the main focus. “On the Gili islands, tourists in the future shall be able to carry out both independent quarantine and vacation” he said.
The number of tourists that can be accomodated is certainly limited, but it will be more exclusive because the visitors will be healthy and disease free people. “This is an attractive thing because health is the main focus” he said.
With this trial, he hopes that after the pandemic ends, the 3 Gili islands will be better equipped with new standards of tourism services. “I hope in August we can receive foreign tourists” he said.