Source from: Antara News
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President Joko Widodo has predicted that Bali Island’s tourism sector would begin to revive around the middle of this year, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, Sandiaga Uno, said.
However, there are preconditions that Bali must fulfill in order to bring its tourism sector back on track, he added.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has highlighted the importance of managing the COVID-19 infection rate as it is important to Bali’s tourism recovery, Uno said here on Tuesday.
He also underlined the importance of a successful vaccination program and public support for the implementation of health protocols, contact tracing, and self-isolation, he added.
“If all vaccine doses are distributed, President Jokowi expects that Bali’s tourism sector could start reviving by June or July this year,” the minister said.
Uno joined Widodo during his official trip to Bali to observe the mass COVID-19 inoculation program in Puri Agung Ubud Palace and Kuta Beach.
During the visit to Gianyar district and Denpasar city, the head of state was also accompanied by Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin and Bali Governor Wayan Koster.
To ensure that the vaccination program is implemented properly, President Widodo spoke with local religious and community leaders as well as frontline public servants, Uno revealed.
The COVID-19 vaccination program is one of the preconditions that needs to be fulfilled before reopening Bali’s tourism for travelers, especially foreign tourists, said Uno.
“The preparations for the reopening of Bali’s tourism must be made carefully through a strict and disciplined implementation of health protocols,” he added.
Any mistake that could trigger a rise in infection rate should be avoided, he said, adding that the President has urged the Balinese people to remain optimistic.
“Hope is on the way,” he remarked.
Prior to President Widodo’s official visit to Bali, Uno had met with the Bali Governor on February 11, 2021.
During the meeting, Uno had highlighted the importance of vaccinating 1.2 million workers in Bali’s tourism sector to boost public trust in the resort island.
“We pray for Bali’s immediate recovery. If the tourism sector revives, the economy will get back on track. Speaking of Indonesia’s tourism, it will never be separated from Bali,” he remarked.
Indonesia has been striving to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since the government officially announced the country’s first confirmed cases on March 2, 2020.
The government has rolled out a nationwide vaccination program this year to arrest the spread of infections.
According to the Health Ministry, it would take 15 months to vaccinate around 181.5 million people under the national program.
Indonesia’s COVID-19 infection rate crossed one million cases on January 26, 2021.
To attain herd immunity and free the nation from the clutches of the pandemic, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has stressed on the need for successfully administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the targeted population.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease has dragged Indonesia into serious public health and economic crises.
Tourism has been among the severely-affected economic sectors in the country, and Bali tourism has especially been badly battered by the pandemic.
Reporter: Naufal FY, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf, Ine