Indonesia’s preparations to reopen for business continue at pace, with government ministries and travel sector associations putting ink to a set of protocols and practices this week. These guidelines focus primarily on inbound tours and will be applied across pre-departure, tour and departure stages, effectively creating a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the industry to follow.
For tour operators, these protocols include communicating the new measures in travel itineraries; helping travellers obtain a COVID-19-free certification; replacing traditional garlands with masks and sanitizers as welcome gifts; implementing a maximum 50% vehicle carrying capacity; following the destination’s official CHS protocols during tours; and ensuring guests are delivered to the airport at least three hours before their scheduled departure time.
According to the Balinese chapter of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA), the new guidelines are an essential step in restoring confidence. “We want to bring across the message of ‘Bali Alright’ to our guests,” said Febrina Budiman, head of ASEAN division for ASITA, during a webinar held last week that was titled ‘Reinventing Bali.’
This online conference outlined a roadmap for the reopening of Bali, comprising all necessary safety measures and collaboration with government ministries. Budiman, along with many others in the sector, is hopeful the island can reopen fully before October. “We are preparing for the new normal,” she said. “With cleaner, healthier and safer destinations in Indonesia, we can welcome international travellers when the time comes,” added Ms Budiman.
ASITA’s enthusiasm for a tourism revival in Bali is reflected in government plans announced this week. Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has officially launched the “Thoughtful Indonesia” campaign; a sub-brand of its official “Wonderful Indonesia” tagline, which puts an emphasis on supporting local businesses and ensuring the safety of visitors.
The campaign dovetails with Indonesia’s new Cleanliness, Health and Safety (CHS) policy, which focuses on restoring traveller confidence and preparing the tourism sector for revival through the implementation of new SOP and safety protocols.
Nia Niscaya is Indonesia’s deputy minister for marketing in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. She says the CHS protocols adhere to international standards and will soon be rolled out nationwide. “We are in the process of harmonisation with other ministries, associations and industries,” said the deputy minister in a recent Zoom interview with Travel Weekly Asia. “While the main SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health, our ministry will issue guidelines that offer more details on how to implement the protocol,” added Ms Niscaya.
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