The Jakarta Post
Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, the main tourist entrance gate to one of Indonesia’s tourism hotspots. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio has urged more hotels and restaurants in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, to obtain cleanliness, health, safety and environmental sustainability (CHSE) certification.
Wishnutama said in a statement on Friday that the CHSE certification was important for the tourist industry, particularly for hotels and restaurants, to restore faith in the travel sector.
He mentioned that the CHSE certification was created to provide a sense of security and comfort for travelers when visiting tourist destinations and it was created in line with recommendations from global organizations, including the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), as well as the Health Ministry.
The Tourism and Creative Ministry shared last month that it would disburse a Rp 3.3 trillion (US$224 million) grant for tourism-related businesses and local administrations, as it aimed to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector and improve health protocol implementation at tourist destinations.
Alongside the grant, the ministry plans to set aside Rp 119 billion to provide the CHSE certification for businesses in 34 provinces across Indonesia.
As one of the destinations hardest-hit by the pandemic, Bali was among the first Indonesian destinations to reopen while implementing CHSE protocols in various points. Before Bali, Banyuwangi reopened its CHSE-ready tourist attractions. Following Bali, Batam and Bintan in Riau Islands and Yogyakarta were next in reopening and implementing CHSE protocols.
“Travel businesses, hotel management and restaurant owners could immediately improve their preparations in cleanliness, health and safety protocol implementation in accordance with the government’s COVID-19 health protocols [through the program],” said Wishnutama last month.
Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park, two popular tourist destinations in East Nusa Tenggara, have welcomed foreign and domestic visitors under strict health protocols since the second phase of their reopening on Aug. 15.
However, antaranews.com reported that only three hotels in Labuan Bajo had received the CHSE certification, namely Inaya Bay Komodo, Ayana Komodo Resort and The Jayakarta Suites Komodo-Flores.
Meanwhile, other properties, such as five-star hotel Plataran Komodo Resort & Spa, are currently in the process of obtaining CHSE certification.
Labuan Bajo Tourism Authority Agency (BOPLBF) president director Shana Fatina said that, in the future, travelers should not feel worried about going to Labuan Baju as more hotels and restaurants were in the process of getting the certification.
“With CHSE certification, we will be ready and try to guarantee tourists’ health, safety and security when traveling to Labuan Bajo,” Shana said.
Moreover, Shana explained that tourism stakeholders in Labuan Bajo also planned digital innovations that could help visitors to check destinations for CHSE certification in an application. (jes)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.
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