Sandiaga Uno Wants To Free COVID-19 Vaccines For Foreign Tourists In Bali, Already Gets Jokowi's Blessing
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno. (Photo: Instagram @sandiuno)

JAKARTA - The government through the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf) is preparing a vaccine-based tourism program in Bali for local and foreign tourists. Later tourists visiting Bali will get free vaccines. This program aims to encourage the economic recovery of Bali.

Regarding the program, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno admitted that he had received the green light or blessing from President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). In fact, his party has also coordinated with the Minister of Health regarding the availability of the vaccine.

"We propose coordinating steps with the governor of Bali to prepare and we have reported it to the president and received approval for vaccine-based tourism," he said in a virtual press conference, Tuesday, June 22.

Sandiaga said the vaccine-based tourism policy would be announced next week by Bali Governor Wayan Koster. This program will be prioritized for domestic or domestic tourists first.

"We are finalizing the concept and it will be announced by the governor of Bali. And I will convey it during my visit to Bali next week. The vaccine can be implemented as soon as it is announced," said the former deputy governor of DKI Jakarta.

Furthermore, Sandiaga revealed that the reason Bali was chosen as the pilot location was because the province experienced the deepest economic contraction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Bali's economy in the first quarter of 2021 will be minus 9 percent. Then I received information that in the second quarter it will still contract minus 6 to 8 percent. So this is very, very sad, like our brothers who need it the most, so it is prioritized in Bali," he said.

Vaccine stock

When asked about the stock of vaccines for this vaccine-based tourism program, the owner and founder of PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya Tbk explained, specifically for foreign tourists, the vaccine given is the Mutual Cooperation vaccine. He said, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is coordinating with the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Ministry of SOEs regarding this policy.

"This policy will be conveyed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy through the coordination of the Ministry of SOEs. And the Ministry of SOEs will assign several SOEs to provide mutual cooperation vaccines in line with the opening of Bali," he said.

Furthermore, Sandiaga admitted that he had discussed vaccine data with the Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin. A number of countries, Sandiaga continued, have begun to offer vaccine-based tourism packages as an effort to expand vaccination coverage and at the same time revive the tourism sector, which was slumped during the pandemic.

"This is milling about vaccine-based tourism offers and very tempting to become the center of attention of tourists. Therefore, in the concept of encouraging massively distributed vaccination, of course, we present a vaccine-based tourism program," he said.

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