Officials from Indonesia’s tourism ministry are on the verge of announcing the return of international tourists to three stellar destinations nationwide. With the finishing touches being added to Bali’s revival, the government is already turning its attention to the next two tourism hotspots on the agenda: Batam and Bintan, with more expected to follow.
“For other destinations besides Bali, of course, the next in line are Batam, Bintan and 18 priority destinations that we continue to monitor,” confirmed Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno during his weekly press briefing in Jakarta last Monday, 27 September. According to the minister, preparations are already underway in both locations, with special focus on the Lagoi Tourism Area in Bintan and the Nongsa Sensation Tourism Area in Batam.
To ensure the safety of returning travellers, the government is implementing thorough safety protocols and SOP throughout the region. “End-to-end CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, Environmental Sustainability) in Batam and Bintan continue to be prepared,” said Sandiaga in his briefing, when questioned about the preparedness of safety measures in each destination.
Located in the Riau Islands of Indonesia, Batam and Bintan are two of the nation’s most popular tourism locations, especially with travellers arriving from Singapore. The province’s Head of Tourism, named Buralimar, has confirmed that Covid-19 cases are in decline, while vaccination coverage in the region is making excellent progress – two developments that augur well for the return of international travellers.
“Covid-19 case numbers have dropped significantly,” said Buralimar in Batam on 21 September. “Two days ago in Batam, there were no additional cases,” he added. By that stage, around 79% of individuals targeted for vaccination had received their first dose, while 45% had been fully vaccinated in the region.
As reopening draws nearer, hotels, resorts, restaurants and tourist attractions are being inspected and CHSE certified by Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism. In Lagoi, for example, managers of accommodation centres and tourism attractions have prepared a blue pass as a method of Covid-19 access ID, along with barcode technology for touchless transactions and tracking.
The reopening of Batam and Bintan is likely to follow shortly behind the pilot project in Indonesia’s flagship tourism destination: Bali. On the Island of the Gods, three travel bubble destinations are being readied for the return of international travellers, namely Sanur, Ubud and Nusa Dua. With these excellent destinations ready to get back in business, the long-awaited return of international tourists to Indonesia is within sight.