Medan’s tourism players are expecting arrivals to North Sumatra to rebound with the return of regional airlines to Kuala Namu International Airport.
Malaysian Airlines resumed its Kuala Lumpur-Medan flights on April 22 while AirAsia did the same on April 27. Most recently, Singapore Airlines recommenced its Singapore-Medan services.
Resylia Martinez, corporate general manager for sales & marketing with Horison Hotels Group, told TTG Asia that the resumption of international flights “indicates that demand for tourist and business trips to Indonesia is increasing”.
Returning air access between Medan and Malaysia and Singapore is very much welcome, stated Prita Gero, spokesperson for Santika Hotells & Resorts Group, as both markets contribute 40 to 42 per cent of the hotel’s business.
These regional flights are also facilitating the return of longhaul travellers too. According to Christine Kowandi, tour manager of Horas Tours, French and German customers have started to return to Medan since May 12.
Sharing the same observation, Yulhendry, director of Synergi Ravelino Tours & Travel, said both Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines have helped to bring back travellers, although the “numbers are still small” compared to pre-pandemic levels.
For tourism in Medan and North Sumatra to truly recover, Yulhendry said direct flights from Europe must resume.
“Tourists from Europe take longer holidays. The French and Germans usually spend three weeks, while tourists from the Netherlands usually travel for four weeks. They do not only visit Medan, but also explore all places in Sumatra,” he explained.