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|Foreign tourists visit Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. (Photo: AFP/VNA)|
Jakarta - On September 27, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said that the Indonesian government will allocate 9.2 trillion rupiah (645 million USD) from the state budget in 2022 to support the recovery of the tourism industry after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Sri Mulyani said at the 2021 national coordination meeting of tourism and creative economy that the budget will be used to develop this smokeless industry on three aspects, including accessibility, attractions and amenities, promotion and private participation.
In 2021, the Indonesian government has allocated 7,670 billion rupiah to revive the tourism industry and creative economy. This effort is aimed at supporting super-priority tourist destinations, including Lake Toba, Borobudur, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo and Likupang, ready to open to domestic and foreign tourists as soon as restrictions are eased.
Earlier on the same day, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said that nearly 2 million tourism workers in Indonesia are at risk of losing their jobs and having their livelihoods affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first six months of this year, the number of foreign tourists to Indonesia fell by 80 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period and higher than the 75 percent decline in the same period last year. Meanwhile, the number of domestic tourists also decreased by nearly 30 percent as the government imposed some travel restrictions.
According to Uno, before the pandemic, tourism was the second largest foreign exchange earner after the oil and gas sector. However, in 2020, the amount of foreign currency exchange from tourism only reached 3.54 billion USD, down nearly 80 percent compared to 2019.