Even as the scourge of coronavirus tightens its grip on the tourism sector, a bright spot has surfaced in these bleak times – and that is players in travel showing solidarity amid their struggles, by donating food essentials and medical supplies to support the community during the pandemic.
In Indonesia, trade bodies and travel agencies have rallied together to fight the virus crisis. The Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA), through its subsidiary Asita Care, has been distributing food to medical workers at government referral hospitals.
Budijanto Ardiansyah, vice president of ASITA, said the initiative by the national board of ASITA was then followed by its chapters. ASITA East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), for example, has donated 300 masks to the community through the NTT Covid-19 Handling Acceleration Task Force. Elsewhere, Asita Riau Islands has distributed 500 boxes of rice directly to motorbike taxi drivers, taxi drivers, street sweepers, and other needy people.
“There are four chapters that have carried out acts of solidarity – North Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, Riau Islands, and West Java. Other regions may soon follow suit,” said Budi, who is also ASITA’s West Java chairman.
He added: “The form of assistance varies, depending on the conditions and needs in the region. Like in West Java, we chose to focus on helping affected travel agent employees by giving them grocery packages.”
Also contributing towards pandemic relief efforts is Panorama Group which has donated 100 personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical teams working in Covid-19 referral hospitals. The group also makes portable sinks to be placed in public areas, along with spray equipment and disinfectants.
AB Sadewa, vice president brand and communications at Panorama Group, shared that they are in the midst of collecting donations. “The target is to prepare 1,000 grocery packages for people in need. We hope this will help them to get healthy and nutritious food in the midst of Covid-19.”
Previously, WEHA Transportasi Indonesia, a subsidiary of the Panorama Group, has pledged to provide shuttle services between specially designated Covid-19 hospitals and hotels designated for medical staff.
Sadewa said: “We’re doing everything we can to lend a hand and speed recovery from Covid-19 in Indonesia.”
Meanwhile, Tiket.com has launched a campaign called Berbagi Sehat (Sharing Health). Through this programme, users can exchange a certain number of TIX Points (membership reward points) on the platform, which the OTA will then use to buy PPE for medical workers across Indonesia.