Indonesia has started its Covid-19 vaccine rollout for tourism workers, with those in Bali the first to be inoculated last weekend.
A total of 5,000 people in Bali are targeted to be vaccinated this month, of which half are tourism workers.
Sandiaga Uno, minister of tourism and creative economy, said that the vaccination programme is the central government’s ‘fast move’ to get the travel industry, particularly in Bali, back on its feet.
The vaccination for tourism workers is part of the second phase of the government-run inoculation programme which kick-started with the inoculation of medical workers in February. Sandiaga expects that the programme would continue to other destinations in the country soon.
Indonesia’s travel trade is bullish that the country is on the right track to recovery, as the vaccination programme for the industry follows the government’s launch of the GeNose C19, a Covid-19 detection tool.
At the same time, the Ministry of Health has also green-lit private vaccination programmes, allowing companies to buy their own vaccines for their employees – a policy that is expected to speed up herd immunity.
Jongki Adiyasa, deputy chairman of ASITA 71 Jakarta chapter, said the government’s move would make both travellers and hosts feel more secure with each other, and boost travel confidence among domestic travellers.
He recalled that when the number of Covid-19 infections trended downwards in November last year, people’s confidence to travel rose and many had embarked on trips.
“However, because health protocols were neglected, the number of Covid-19 infections increased again in December and January, and the confidence of domestic travellers dropped again,” he said.
Daniel Nugraha, director of Exotic Java Trails, hoped that the vaccination programme implemented by Indonesia and some neighbouring countries would lead to intra-ASEAN travel movement this year.
He said: “International travellers will see that Indonesia is more ready to welcome them back as compared to (some) other countries, although they are not able to visit yet right now due to the border closure.”