Jakarta, Aug. 13, 2020 Indonesia, on Thursday, said it would not allow foreign tourists for the rest of the year.
Instead, authorities said they are focusing on reviving the hard-hit tourism sector with domestic demand, a senior minister said.
The Chief Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, said the country would not be welcoming foreign tourists until the end of the year.
“We will just be consolidating first,’’ Pandjaitan said.
The statement came as COVID-19 infections continued to surge after social restrictions were eased and businesses re-opened.
Pandjaitan’s remarks shelved Bali’s regional government’s plan to open the resort island for international tourists on Sept. 11 as the final part of a three-phase plan.
Bali re-opened its tourist destinations in July for island locals and domestic tourists.
Pandjaitan said the government would focus on encouraging domestic tourists to revive the industry, increasing domestic travel to make up 70 per cent of tourist activities in the future.
The Indonesian Government, in March, banned foreigners from entering the country as part of its virus control measures, except for those entering for essential and official purposes.
Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, said in a press briefing on Thursday that Indonesia and South Korea have agreed to establish an essential business travel corridor effective from Aug. 17.
This, it said, would allow travel for essential business as well as official and diplomatic purposes, but not tourism.
This is the second bilateral business travel corridor arrangement that Indonesia forged, following the first one with the UAE that took effect on July 29.