The Jakarta Post
The West Sumatra Grand Mosque in Padang, West Sumatra. (Shutterstock/File)
With Idul Adha approaching, the West Sumatra administration is prepping to welcome travelers seeking to celebrate the Islamic Day of Sacrifice on July 31 in the region.
As reported by kompas.com, the province has opened all its tourist destinations following the implementation of the "new normal" policy in early June and is especially eager to lure visitors during the upcoming Idul Adha holiday.
"We are open to tourists [while implementing the necessary] health protocols in a bid to revive the local economy," said West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno in a statement on Saturday.
The plan to encourage travelers to celebrate Idul Adha in the region is part of the administration's sales mission program that aims to boost tourism, a sector devastated by the pandemic.
According to Irwan, the province is also set to hold the National Quran Recital Competition (MTQ) in November and has announced a new policy requiring all visitors to undergo a swab test.
"The swab tests will be available for free [for all travelers] arriving at Minangkabau International Airport," said Irwan.
The administration has also conducted swab tests for all tourist bus drivers in collaboration with the Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) to ensure the safety of visitors.
"We're definitely following strict health protocols, as the threat of coronavirus still exists," said Irwan.
Separately, West Sumatra Tourism Agency head Novrial said the sales mission program had been well-received by tourists.
Novrial said that four local travel agencies participating in the program had sold more than 101 Idul Adha tourism packages.
According to the latest data on covid19.go.id, West Sumatra has recorded 817 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 696 recoveries and 32 deaths.
Nationally, Indonesia has surpassed China in its total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, after recording 1,752 new infections on Saturday. The number of confirmed cases across the archipelago stood at 84,882 as of Saturday afternoon, while China reported 22 new cases to bring its official total to 83,644, according to data from the country's National Health Commission. (kes)
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