The government has decided to hold off a stimulus for tourism and aviation sectors after it was announced that there were two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Indonesia, said the official today (03/03) - Photo by President Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The government is now seeking to lure more visitors from America, Australia, and European countries amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, officials said today (01/28). To achieve this, the government will build connectivity such as direct flights to these countries as well as create high-quality attractions.

“From the beginning, our strategy did not have to depend on a country like Chinna tourists all the time. We will shift our target to American, Australia and European countries, which we haven’t really tapped into,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio told reporters, adding the widespread coronavirus did not significantly affect Indonesian tourism.

The minister revealed, based on machine learning monitoring, countries that are looking most for places of tourism in Indonesia are Australia, America and Europe such as Germany, Britain, and France. According to Kusubandio, the characteristics of Indonesia’s tourist destinations, which mostly boast natural wonders, suit the American and European markets, which largely prefers outdoor activities. However, marketing the archipelago as a tourist destination for them would be more costly as it requires more effort, he added.

Until September 2019, the number of Indonesian tourists visiting which reached 12.27 million people has been inferior to neighboring countries. Thailand incised 29.46 million foreign tourists, Malaysia 20.10 million, Singapore 14.4 million, and even Vietnam recorded better visits of 12.87 million in the same period, according to World Travel & Tourism Council data.

In this connection, Indonesian tourism will begin to tread the road to focus on inbound strategies rather than outbound strategies. How we attract visitors by creating tourism valuable content and experiences tailored to them. The main focus is on increasing the quality of tourism, Kusubandio adds.

Quality tourism will depend very much on what we offer or supply-side. We should increase our tourism competitiveness compared to countries in Southeast Asia,” he said, believes the strategy will be in accordance with the character of American and European tourists.

According to Statistics Indonesia data, Indonesia welcomed 1,565,200 tourists from Europe between January and September 2019. The number is slightly less than the 1,566,900 people of the year before. During the same period, Indonesia reportedly welcomed 482,500 American tourists, which was an increase of 12.93 percent compared to last year.

While the number of Chinese tourist visits between January and May 2019 only grew 2.2 percent. Following the decline, Malaysia replaced China as the number one foreign tourist contributor to Indonesia thanks to its 23.04 percent growth during the same period.

Meanwhile, visitors from Wuhan province were only around 500,000 visitors over the past year, making the minister believe the impact of coronavirus was not too significant on Indonesian tourism. The government will continue to increase vigilance, with temporarily closing flights to and from Wuhan, but other areas are still normal.

Minister of Health Terawan Agus Putranto emphasized that so far Indonesia is still safe from the coronavirus outbreak. The ministry staff had now traveled to a number of areas to check the spread of the virus, he said.

“We have checked, nothing has been confirmed yet. After everything is finished, we will publicly announce the results,” the minister adds.

Chinese health authorities said Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak has killed 106 people and infected 4,515. The officials also said 60 people had been discharged. The majority of the reported cases are in mainland China, where local authorities have quarantined several major cities and canceled Lunar New Year’s events in Beijing and elsewhere.

The US Department of State on Monday raised its travel advisory for China from Level 2 to Level 3 asking Americans to “reconsider travel to China due to the novel coronavirus.” They added that some areas have “added risk.” President Donald Trump addressed the matter in a tweet Monday, saying the US is “in very close communication with China concerning the virus.”

Multiple cases of the virus have been confirmed in Hong Kong, Macao, Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, France, and the US. On Monday, authorities in Germany confirmed the country’s first case. Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka also confirmed its first case, AP reports.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com