Indonesian government allocates Rp9.4 trillion (US$666.67 million) for five super priority destinations, which is expected to bring foreign exchange to the country - Photo by CMMA Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesian government allocates Rp9.4 trillion (US$666.67 million) for five super priority destinations, which is expected to bring foreign exchange to the country, said the deputy finance minister last week. The funds spread in the various ministries and institutions as part of the National Economic Recovery program for tourism sectors.

“We hope this can really be used to provide incentives for tourism activities,” said Suahasil Nazara at the National Coordination Meeting for Tourism and Creative Economy 2020 on Friday (11/27).

The super priority destination areas are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Likupang in North Sulawesi, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, This projects is part of the 10 New Bali program launched by President Joko Widodo at the beginning of his first term with Ma’ruf Amin.

The transportation minister, Budi Karya Sumadi, added, to support the program, his ministry plans to build ports, airports, and connectivity between the cities and tourist objects. Together with the tourism and creative economy ministry will create also prepares superhub to facilitate direct flights across the archipelago.

Based on data of finance ministry of Finance, the largest budget allocation worth of Rp7.56 trillion will distributer to the public works and housing ministry. Then, the ministry of transportation of Rp673.7 billion, tourism ministry Rp874 billion, environment and forestry ministry Rp142.2 billion, village ministry Rp82.9 billion, and creative economy agency Rp19.2 billion.

Beside stimulus, the government also prepared a grant for the tourism sector amounting to Rp3.3 trillion to protect the tourism industry, which has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stimulus regulated through Finance Minister Regulation Number 46 of 2020, concerning Management of Grants from the Central Government to Regional Governments in the Context of Handling the 2019 COVID-19 Pandemic and the Impact of the 2019 Corona Virus Disease Pandemic.

Its also ruled via Finance Minister Ruling Number 23/KM .7/2020 concerning Stages of Distribution of Tourism Grants in the Framework of National Economic Recovery in 2020. The grant is also part of the Economic Recovery program. The funds will distributer to the regional province for branding destination, to generates a minimum hotel and restaurant tax of 15 percent of original revenues, and 100 Calendar of Events areas.

The criteria for hotels and restaurants that receive tourism grants are hotels and restaurants that are in accordance with the taxpayer database. Hotels and restaurants are still standing and operating until July 2020 and have business licenses. In details, 70 percent of the grant distributes for hotel and restaurant and 30 percent for regional cash injection if at least 50 percent of the funds for phase I have been passed on by the regional government to the tourism industry.

In mid October, statistic bureau reported, the number of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia dropped significantly in seven consecutive months, after the vicious virus hit the country. The head of statistic bureau, Suhariyanto, reported, in August, number of arrivals again down by 89.22 percent compared to last year and dropped by 4.45 percent from July.

Cumulatively, January – August, the number of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia reached 3.41 million or decreased by 68.17 percent compared to the number of arrivals in the same period in 2019, which totaled 10.71 million visits.

While, to support the industry, tourism and creative economy minister, Wishnutama Kusubandio, said on Oct. 14, additionally, the ministry allocated a budget of Rp119 billion to provide free cleanliness, health, safety, and environmental sustainability certification for the tourism industry players across 34 provinces in Indonesia, which aimed at regaining the public trust.

US$1: Rp14,100

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