Indonesia helps tourism sector weather COVID-19 hinh anh 1An Indonesian health official checks the temperature of a foreign tourist arriving from Bali heading to a tourist area (Photo: AFP)

Jakarta (VNA) –
Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio recently vowed to disburse an aid package worth 3.3 trillion IDR (224 million USD) for tourism-related businesses and local administrations.

The move aimed to help cushion the impacts of the pandemic on the sector and improve health protocol implementation at tourist destinations.

The aid is to be sourced from the Indonesian government’s COVID-19 economic recovery fund of 695.2 trillion IDR, aimed to finance the healthcare system and bolster the economy.

Wishnutama said that the grant is expected to help the hotel and restaurant industry that is facing financial difficulties and the local administrations that are losing out on revenue due to the pandemic, adding that the grant was expected to help the businesses and administrations until December.

The pandemic has depressed the tourist industry amid the imposition of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in various regions to curb virus transmission.

It has wiped out around 85 trillion IDR of Indonesia’s tourism revenue as of July, with estimated 70-trillion-IDR losses posted by the hotel and restaurant industry, according to data from the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI).

The number of foreign visitors to Indonesia dropped 68.17 percent to 3.41 million visits as of August this year, compared to 10.71 million visitors in the same period last year, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data./.