In an effort to accelerate Indonesia’s recovery from COVID-19 restrictions, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (MTCE) has announced a national policy for dealing with the virus. Named the Cleanliness, Health and Safety Programme (or CHS for short), it has been designed to support a revival in the tourism sector and will be rolled out nationwide following a trial in Bali.
In readiness for a lifting of international flight restrictions and regional lockdowns, the CHS initiative sets out to ensure the safe reopening of Indonesia’s tourism infrastructure, while also restoring confidence in the destination among international travellers. CHS combines safety protocols issued by the Ministry of Health with sustainable tourism development initiatives. Government ministries are finalising the standard operating procedures (SOP) in relation to the health, cleanliness, and safety standards that will govern the trial.
“Our Ministry collaborates with the Ministry of Health and related institutions in conducting surveys, verifying the implementation of the CHS SOPs properly and correctly, in accordance with the established standards,” said Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, who is head of Center for Tourism and Creative Economy.
Results from the initial CHS trial in Bali will offer a blueprint for government, tourism industry professionals and creative economy stakeholders nationwide, as the country prepares a more widespread lifting of restrictions. “The next steps are verification, audit, and certification of CHS by involving certification institutions,” explained Giri.
Earlier this month, Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism laid out its own plan to rejuvenate and prepare popular holiday destinations around the archipelago, in preparation for reopening the country to tourism between June and October. These destinations include Bali, Yogyakarta and Riau, with a view to reopening by the end of the summer.
Indonesia remains closed to international flights for the time being, with social restrictions and closures in place nationwide as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. In recent weeks, the momentum of policymakers and the rhetoric of politicians have shifted from containment to recovery, with many sectors beginning to chart a path to reopening sooner rather than later.
This week, regional neighbours Vietnam and Thailand both announced they would reopen their borders to international tourists from July onwards, signifying an end to COVID-19 travel restrictions in their respective nations. Indonesia is hoping that the CHS programme trial in Bali can lead to further rollouts of the recovery plan nationwide and ultimately, the reopening of Indonesia as a holiday destination.
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