March 10, 2021

Innovation, collaboration and adaptation – Indonesia’s recipe for tourism recovery

Exclusive Interview: Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, Sandiaga S. Uno

Sandiaga S. Uno was recently appointed as Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy. We began by asking him what he will be doing differently to his predecessor.

Our President, Joko Widodo, has entrusted me with a responsibility to develop Indonesian tourism, upon which more than 30-million people depend for their livelihoods in our country. Thus, rather than doing things differently, I prefer to continue the efforts and programmes of my predecessors to develop the tourism and creative economy of Indonesia. We will continue to focus on developing tourism and creative economy in the five Super Priority Destinations (DSP), under President Joko Widodo’s direction, namely Lake Toba I North Sumatra, Borobudur – Central Java, Mandalika – West Nusa Tenggara, Likupang – North Sulawesi, and Labuan Bajo – East Nusa Tenggara; and the backbone destinations, namely Bali, Jakarta, and Riau Islands.

I must say that it is quite a challenge to develop tourism during this pandemic. However, since the President has not given us much time, we will carry out our programmes by working quickly and working together. We will also implement the MOTCE’s three pillars: namely innovation, collaboration, and adaptation, in order to obtain satisfying results.

“We will continue to focus on developing tourism and creative economy in the five Super Priority Destinations (DSP)…”

Innovation, collaboration and adaptation - Indonesia's recipe for tourism recovery

It is evident that the Covid crisis has had a massive impact on your economy. What is your plan moving forward?
This pandemic has hit us all hard; not only in Indonesia, but also in the whole world. However, we cannot just stand-by waiting for situation to get better. We must manage to survive and strive in this pandemic situation. The Indonesia’s statistical organisation, in its latest report, noted that the national economy in 2020 experienced a contraction of 2.07%. Bali, one of the backbones of Indonesia tourism was minus 9.3% cumulatively in 2020, which is the deepest contraction for Bali Province.

Cutting the transmission of Covid-19 is surely the key in reviving the tourism and creative economy sector. In addition, we must put our efforts into fostering confidence among tourists in order for them to travel back to Indonesia. Our current focus is on encouraging domestic tourists to travel within the country, in order to move the economic wheel, by campaigning #DiIndonesiaAja (Travel in Indonesia) and #BanggaBerwisatadiIndonesia (Proud of Traveling in Indonesia).

The need to guarantee the safety and health of tourism service providers and visitors is our driving force to promote the programme of CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability). The aim of the programme is to ensure that the tourism products and destinations in Indonesia fulfil all health protocols and standards. This year, MoTCE targeted about 65,000 tourism industries to be CHSE- certified.

The MOTCE also proposes that all workers in tourism and the creative economy are prioritised in the second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations.

What are your thoughts about the current format of ITB Berlin NOW, and how important is this opportunity in helping you achieve your communication goals?
In this pandemic situation, we must be able to adapt to the situation. The pandemic has made it impossible for us to have on-site exhibitions. Thus, adopting a digital format is highly compatible with the current situation. This has enabled us and our tourism and creative economy industry to continue promoting our tourism potential and tourism destinations, despite the pandemic.

This is also in line with our strategy to adopt technology in the tourism and creative economy sectors. We have previously encouraged our tourism and creative economy actors to make use of digital technology in promoting their products. I believe that by using this digital format, we can still manage to undertake ‘normal’ exhibition activities and to achieve our goals.

Indonesia @ ITB Berlin NOW

There are more than 100 Indonesian tourism industry players participating in the first fully digital edition of ITB Berlin.

Indonesia will run four exhibitor presentations:

9 March 2021; 10:00 – 10:30 am CET
“INDONESIA – Travel Update and current measurements in Indonesia”

ITB Berlin NOW Convention Stage 2

10 March 2021; 1:00 – 1:30 pm CET
Explore Ecotourism and Community Based Tourism Activity (Sumatra, Java and Bali)”
ITB Berlin NOW Convention Stage 1

11 March 2021; 11:00 – 11:30 am CET
Experience the Colours of People, Culture & Nature (Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi & Bali)”
ITB Berlin NOW Convention Stage 2

11 March 2021; 12:00 – 12:30 pm CET
Visit the Paradise on the East: (Lombok, Komodo, Flores, Timor, Sumba, Papua and Bali)
ITB Berlin NOW Convention Stage 2

Indonesia’s “Quick Win” strategies

In order to recover tourism and creative industries amid the pandemic, as well as lowering the risk of surging cases, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism and Creative Economy Agency (MoTCE/TCEA) has come up with “Quick Win” strategies during 2021, namely:

1/ Implementing Cleanliness, Healthy, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) protocols in all tourist destinations as the primary focus;

2/ Accelerating CHSE certification in all tourist destinations;

3/ Crowd Control or visitor management that utilises specific technology;

4/ Creating new attractions, such as events (MICE, festivals, concerts, art performance, etc.), wellness tourism, culinary tourism, sports tourism, golf, running, swimming, diving, paragliding, edutourism, ecotourism, etc.

5/ Marketing through Big Data:

  1. Targeted and segmented-based marketing;
  2. InDOnesia Care or I Do Care campaign to recover tourists’ sense of security and safety;
  3. Encouraging people to travel within the country with the featured hashtag #DiIndonesiaAjad. Encouraging people to help tourism and creative business through loving and using home-grown products with hashtags #BanggaBuatanIndonesia and #BeliKreatifLokal.
Innovation, collaboration and adaptation - Indonesia's recipe for tourism recovery