Keeping Up and Ready for New Normal for Travel to Bintan & Batam Indonesia

  • 01:10 PM, 16 Jul, 2020

(Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 14.00 - 15.00 WIB)  The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism Agency and Creative Economy hosted the second international webinar on Indonesia Tourism Series on Singapore and Malaysia market called “Keeping Up and Ready for New Normal”. The purpose of this event is to update Indonesia’s readiness to encounter the new normal travel era, especially in the Riau Islands. A total of 180 participants with a travel agent and media background attended this one-hour session.

The panel moderated by Kelvin Ong, Country Manager Visit Indonesia Tourism Office (VITO) Malaysia, and has three speakers namely Abdul Wahab, Group General Manager PT. Bintan Resort Cakrawala; Andika Lim, Chairman of DPD ASITA Kepulauan Riau; and Putu Sridono, the representative of Batam Immigration Office. As a keynote speaker was Vinsensius Jemadu, MBA, Director of Tourism Marketing for Region I (Indonesia, ASEAN, Australia, and OCEANIA, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia.

The first session started with an opening remark by Vinsensius Jemadu who explained Covid-19 has changed a lot of sectors, including tourism, and made an uncertain situation in the future. Vinsen said, “One thing for sure that it will never change to see Singapore and Malaysia as potential and strategic markets for Indonesia''. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy always coordinated with the national task force of Covid-19 to evaluate on a daily basis the management of covid19, and as far as the tourism concern, Vinsen thinks the industry in the Riau Islands are ready to welcome and adapt to new normal. Vinsen added “I know that Riau Island is the most visited by friends from Singapore and Malaysia, and of course today they will share the latest situation information. And I hope it will give some insight into understanding the destination in terms of covid19 management and readiness of the industry In general”.

The second session continued with Abdul Wahab sharing Bintan Resort Covid-19 protocol and checklist. Entering the Covid-19 situation, the number of visitors to Bintan in early 2020 was far below the target. In June the target was 121,216 visitors, but the actual number was only 1,042 visitors. Although, since the beginning of Covid-19, Bintan Resorts has maintained zero cases, they are still implementing new normal protocol, that is Clean, Safe, and Welcome in the entry point of Ferry Terminal, Post 1 land entry point, the attractions (Mangrove Tour, Safari Lagoi, plaza shopping center and water sports), and public area (food stall, Lagoi Bay Village). There is also a new normal guide which is communicated in the form of new normal protocol electronic handbook, issued to all guests via mobile phone upon arriving at Bintan Resorts; new normal protocol electronic contact tracing, a QR code is available to be installed at all attraction venues; and new normal protocol electronic handbook, accessed through mobile devices. Bintan Resorts readiness is coordinating with Bintan Resort Council, task force Covid-19 of Riau Island Province, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia and VITO Singapore, travel agencies, event organizers, and cruise liners.

The third session was filled by Andika Lim who pointed out in facing the new normal, ASITA has done several inspections to resorts, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and tourist destinations to make sure all the properties are implementing health care protocol, such as Cleanliness (washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer), Health (body temperature testing), and Safety (wearing mask and physical distancing). ASITA, as a tour and travel agencies association, ensures all the member’s employees, especially tour guides and drivers when they lead a tour, to have temperature testing, clean hands with sanitizer, that they wear a mask and face shield, as well as all guests have to do the same except wear face shield before entering into the vehicle. The tour package for the new normal in Riau Island is targeting Singapore and Malaysia, who comprised the most visitors in 2019. The segmentations are families, couples, workmates (max 10 person), and sports communities. The tour activities are golfing, trekking, cycling, island hopping, leisure at resorts, go-karting, flying fox, beach activities, paintball shooting, and farm tour. The duration of tour packages are 1-day tour, 2 days 1 night, 3 days 2 nights.

In the fourth session Putu Sridono explained that during the Covid-19 pandemic period, the government gave directions for the entry of citizens and residence permits in Indonesia. Currently, those who are permitted to come to Indonesia are foreign citizens who have limited, permanent, diplomatic, and foreign licenses who will work on national projects. Other than those listed, foreigners have not been allowed to enter Indonesia. Therefore, visa-free and Visa on Arrival has not been opened with an undetermined time as to when it will be.

This event is expected to be beneficial for the participants and their organizations to be able to plan the promotion and activity as well as the marketing strategy in order to promote the Riau Islands once the three countries’ borders reopen again.

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