More aid for Indonesia’s tourism sector as layoffs, closures mount

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has announced an additional stimulus package for businesses in the hard-hit tourist and creative economy sectors to counter Covid-19, amid projections that the country will post a US$10 billion loss in tourism revenue this year due to the pandemic.

Jokowi said in a Cabinet meeting on Thursday (April 16) that the economic stimulus is aimed at ensuring the tourism businesses’ survival without having to resort to large-scale layoffs, reported The Jakarta Post.

Tourism businesses and workers in Indonesia will get further support from the government; a closed cafe in Canggu, a popular tourist spot in Bali, amid Covid-19 pictured

On top of setting up a social safety net programme for workers in the tourism sector, Jokowi also asked the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry to reallocate its budget to labour-intensive jobs for these workers, said the report.

However, it added, Jokowi remains optimistic that the country will see a “tourism boom” next year once Covid-19 is over.

The pandemic has shuttered over 1,260 hotels in the country, affecting more than 150,000 employees, according to the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association.

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