Jakarta (VNA) – The number of foreign tourist visits to Indonesia in January still suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic and declined by 89.05 percent compared to the same month of last year, the country’s statistics bureau (BPS) reported.

The arrival numbers lowered from 1.29 million in January 2020 to 141,260 in the first month of this year.

Compared with last December, the number of visitors decreased by 13.9 percent. The room occupancy rate of star-classified hotels in Indonesia was also down 30.35 percent compared to 49.17 percent recorded a year ago and 10.44 percent from the previous month.

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said the country targets welcoming around seven million foreigners this year. To this end, the ministry will focus on completing the development of five super priority destinations, like Lake Toba in North Sumatera, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in Lombok, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Likupang in North Sulawesi.

The ministry will strengthen the 3A (Attractions, Amenities and Accessibility) tourism facilities, encourage investment in the tourism sector, and increase tourism promotion by optimally utilizing digital technology, Uno said. It will also implement three strategies namely innovation, adaptation, and collaboration.

Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Angela Tanoesoedibjo, meanwhile, said the innovation strategy will include the use of big data to design more effective and personal promotions. Her office will also innovate the products offered, such as outdoor tourism, sport tourism, health tourism, wellness tourism, and ecotourism.

The second strategy is adapting CHSE-based health protocols (cleanliness, health, safety, and environment) in each tourism destination and creative economy line. This CHSE-based protocols will be the key to accelerating the recovery of tourist confidence amid the pandemic.

Additionally, the country will develop e-HAC (electronic-Health Alert Card) together with health ministry and telecommunications service providers, so that later they do not only record the visits but also monitor movements./.