Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Panjaitan said Indonesia will not open the tourism sector to foreign tourists until the end of 2020.

He said the government decided to focus on domestic tourism to restore the tourism industry that has collapsed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We want 70 percent domestic tourists. We will not accept foreign tourists until the end of the year. Let us first consolidate” said Luhut in a webinar held by the Indonesian Employers Association (APINDO).

If this is implemented, Bali Governor Wayan Koster’s plan to re-open Bali to foreign tourists on September 11, 2020 will be canceled.

The government is still implementing Regulation number 11 of 2020 of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Permenkumham) which temporarily prohibits foreigners from entering the Republic of Indonesia.

However, Luhut said that confirmed cases of Covid-19 in a number of tourism areas had decreased. This has resulted in tourist attractions starting to be re-visited by local tourists. “Yesterday we opened Bali and Banyuwangi” said Luhut.

According to Luhut, the tourism sector will recover, although it will not be easy. Luhut estimates that it will take about 10 months for this sector to resume activity to pre-Covid-19 levels.

“We are grateful that in the last two weeks the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Bali have decreased. The Governor said there are local herbs; he drank arak (Balinese liquor) derived from them. Whether it’s true or not, the important thing is that it (Covid numbers) seems to have dropped; I support it” he said.

Previously, the Bali Provincial Government (Pemprov) planned to re-open to foreign tourists on September 11, 2020. The re-opening of the tourism sector will involve strict health protocols to reduce the potential for transmission of the coronavirus.

Bali Governor Wayan Koster stated that his party had issued a circular on the adaptation of new habits, so that the opening of the tourism sector will result in tourists feeling safe and comfortable. This is not only for foreign tourists, but also local.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama stated that the government would target Indonesians who usually vacation abroad to visit domestic tourist sites. He noted that there are at least 8 million Indonesians who travel abroad each year.

“How do we achieve this potential, so that they travel in Indonesia. Consider their (Indonesian tourists) spending abroad. This has the potential to be spent in Indonesia” Wishnutama concluded.

Link to the online petition to re-open Bali tourism in September:

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