INDONESIAN TOURISM SECTOR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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INDONESIAN TOURISM SECTOR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Andre Raharja andreraharjo70@gmail.com

English Department,

Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Tidar, Indonesia

Abstract

The contribution of the tourist sector has expanded greatly in recent years, although the globe was shocked by the existence of the Covid-19 virus epidemic at the beginning of 2020. Joko Widodo, Indonesia's President, issued an order titled Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB). All nations or localities most affected by COVID-19 are barred from entering their borders. Using library research techniques, this study was carried out to assess the state of tourism in Indonesia in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as the efforts made by the government to recover the tourism sector. The Ministry of Tourist and Creative Economy (Kemenkarekraf) of the government has made many policy actions to improve the tourism sector and creative economy. As part of the government's endeavor to preserve the economic viability of the tourist industry, the government is creating another program, namely a tourist grant fund program with a total budget of up to Rp. 3.3 trillion. Increasing exports and automating the promotion of creative economy items (Ekraf) are two of the government's initiatives aimed at reviving national tourism.

Keyword: Coronavirus, covid-19 impacts, tourism sector

INTRODUCTION

The tourism sector is an important sector for the Indonesian economy. In recent years, the contribution of the tourism sector has increased significantly. This can be seen from the contribution of the tourism sector to total exports of goods and services which increased sharply from 10 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2012. The tourism sector contributed directly to GDP of 4.8 percent in 2019 (Figure 1), this value increased by 0.30 points from 2018 which was 4.5 percent (Kemenparekraf, 2020). This increase in contribution was mainly supported by the increasing number of foreign and domestic tourists as well as the increasing number of investments in the tourism sector.

At the beginning of 2020 the world was shaken by the presence of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. According to the WHO, COVID-19, also known as coronaviruses, is a large family of viruses that can cause disease in animals and humans. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (Nicola et al., 2020). Covid-19 is a global outbreak that initially occurred in the city of Wuhan, China at the end of 2019 which then spread rapidly to 210 countries in the world, including Indonesia in just a few months. The existence of Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact, namely that almost all aspects of life in parts of the world have experienced paralysis, including Indonesia. To limit the spread of COVID-19, governments around the world are

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taking action, namely imposing a lockdown or banning all countries or cities most affected by Covid to enter their border areas. This is done so that the spread of COVID-19 can be suppressed (Fotiadis et al., 2021). The Indonesian government is also taking action to suppress the spread of COVID-19. The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo issued an instruction namely Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB).

The existence of these social restrictions resulted in stagnation in various sectors, including the economic, social and political sectors. The tourism sector is the sector most affected by this pandemic (Škare et al., 2020). It is currently estimated that 75 million jobs in the tourism sector are experiencing shocks and the tourism industry is at risk of losing its turnover of more than US$2.1 trillion (WTTC, 2020). In Indonesia, pressure on the tourism sector can be seen from the decline in the number of foreign tourist arrivals, namely the total foreign tourist arrivals in January-May 2020 of 2.9 million, a decrease of 53.36 percent from the previous year which was 6.3 million visits (BPS, 2020). There has also been a decline in domestic tourist visits, especially Indonesians who are reluctant to travel, because they are worried about the impact of COVID-19 (Kartiko, 2020). The decline in the tourism sector has an impact on MSME businesses and employment. So far, the tourism sector is a labor-intensive sector that absorbs a lot of labor (Sanaubar et al., 2017).

From the description above indicates that the condition of the tourism sector in Indonesia is still unstable due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, the author tries to look at the condition of tourism in Indonesia in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps taken by the government to restore the tourism sector.

LITERATURE REVIEW

According to the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTCC), tourism is all activities of people who travel to and live in places outside their daily environment for a period of not more than a year for leisure, business and others. Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon that requires the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment to personal or business professional goals (UNWTO, 2007).

Tourism has implications on the economy, the natural environment, the local population at the destination, and on the tourists themselves. Various impacts of production factors needed to produce goods and services by visitors and stakeholders involved in the tourism sector lead to the need for an overall approach in terms of tourism destination development, tourism management and monitoring of tourism activities. This approach is highly recommended for formulating and implementing national and local tourism policies and necessary international agreements or other processes (UNWTO, 2007). Furthermore, the World Bank (2013) states that tourists are people who carry out tourism activities. There are two types of tourists, namely domestic and foreign tourists. According to the World Bank definition, domestic tourists are tourists who travel within their country. Foreign tourists are tourists who travel to a country other than the country in which they reside for a period not exceeding 12 months.

There are several factors that encourage people to become tourists, including: 1) the desire to escape from the pressures of everyday life in the city, the desire to change the atmosphere and take advantage of free time; 2) advances in communication and transportation; and 3) the desire to see and get new experiences about other cultures and places.

Yakup's research (2019) reveals that tourism has a positive effect on economic growth and conversely economic growth has a positive effect on tourism. This study examines the influence of tourism on economic growth in Indonesia based on Time Series data during 1975-2017. This study uses a simultaneous equation model which is estimated by Two Stage Last Square. Tourism sector

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income does not only come from the money spent, but also attracts foreign capital. Tourism is a labor-intensive business (Labor Intensive), which can create a workforce in Indonesia other sectors (Surwiyanta, 2003). The development of the tourism sector will be able to trigger other sectors, so that tourism can be a trigger for national economic growth. Economic growth and tourism have a reciprocal causal relationship (Reciprocal Causal Hypothesis). That is, tourism growth and economic growth mutually benefit one another (Nizar, 2015).

The impact of the tourism sector will also cause other sectors to be disrupted. The effects of the pandemic have a direct or indirect impact on tourism in Indonesia, several studies reveal the impact of the weakening of the tourism sector on the high unemployment rate. Some places of tourism are very dependent on tourists. In addition to the decline in the number of tourists caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the condition of tourism in Indonesia also faces several other risks including the threat of climate change, and natural damage.

Efforts to improve the tourism sector that can be done by the government, one of which is making promotions through virtual visits, this approach can be used to socialize and promote early to potential consumers. The use of 360 photography technology and virtual visits can be a marketing strategy in the tourism sector (Sulaiman et al., 2020). Tourism based on community participation and the use of domestic resources as tourist sites will also support proactive national economic resilience against community elements (Maharani & Mahalika , 2020).

RESEARCH METHOD

This study aims to look at the condition of the Indonesian tourism sector in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps taken by the government in restoring the tourism sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The method used in this research is library research, namely the process of collecting data from various reference sources that support this research. This type of research is qualitative research. Data collection techniques are listening and recording important information in data analysis by means of data reduction, data display and drawing conclusions.

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION A. Tourism Sector in Indonesia

Tourism is one of the important sectors for the Indonesian economy, but achievements in this sector are still not optimal. The World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2013 ranked Indonesia at 6th and 38th place out of 140 countries in the world for ownership of natural and cultural resources. This ranking is far above neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Malaysia. Indonesia's tourism price competitiveness index in 2013 was ranked 9th out of 140 countries (Utami, 2016).

Although the growth of the Indonesian tourism sector is high, when compared to other competing countries in the ASEAN region, Indonesia is still far behind. Given the potential of Indonesia's tourism sector in the future, various strategies are needed to attract more foreign tourists and develop Indonesian tourism (Sujai, 2016).

The tourism sector has a significant role in the economy in Indonesia. Tourism is a multi-component industry, it cannot be separated from other economic sectors. During 2019, the number of foreign tourist visits or foreign tourists to Indonesia reached 16.11 million visits, an increase of 1.88 percent compared to the number of foreign tourist visits in the same period the previous year which amounted to 15.81 million visits. The number of foreign tourist visits consists of foreign tourists visiting through air entrances as many as 9.83 million visits, sea entrances as many as 4.16 million visits, and land entrances as many as 2.11 million visits (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2020).

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data (WHO, 2020) Corona virus is a virus that can attack both animals and humans. This Corona virus can cause respiratory infections such as the flu to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or Severe Acute Respiratory (SARS). The new type of virus that spreads from the Corona virus is Covid-19. Covid-19 was first discovered in China in 2019 and then in December. The impact of COVID-19 is that it causes respiratory illnesses such as flu with symptoms of cough, fever and more severe cases, difficulty breathing, which can lead to fatalities.

The COVID-19 virus is highly contagious and can spread between people quickly through liquid or droplets through the mouth and nose. Liquids from people who have tested positive will stick to the surface of objects and can last up to nine days. Other people who touch the surface of an object that has been infected with COVID-19 or shake hands with someone who is positive for COVID-19 may be infected if they then touch the face area such as the mouth, count, or eyes. So there are lots of calls for self-quarantines and washing hands with soap regularly. If it is necessary to leave the house, it is recommended to do Social Distancing for more than 1 meter. The Covid-19 virus is still happening today. The total number of people infected with COVID-19 in Indonesia currently has reached 917 thousand people with 746 thousand people who recovered and 262,282 people who died (Google News, 2021).

B. Indonesian Tourism in the Midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic

It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has weakened the world economy. Including Indonesia, the Covid-19 pandemic that occurred not only had an impact on the social sector, education sector and the economic sector but also the tourism sector. The existence of a large-scale social restriction (PSBB) policy and the closure of recreational and entertainment venues aimed at suppressing the spread of COVID-19 caused people's mobility to decline, this had a considerable economic impact on the tourism sector. The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) noted that cumulative foreign tourist visits to Indonesia during the January-November 2020 period only reached 3.89 million visits, lower than the same period in the previous year of 14.73 million foreign tourists or a sharp decline. by 73.60 percent. The number of foreign tourists visiting consists of foreign tourists entering through the air gate of 1.68 million visits, the sea entrance is 972.02 thousand visits, the land entrance is 1.23 million visits. The number of foreign tourists in November 2020 reached 173.31 thousand visits. This figure is lower than the same period in 2019 of 1.28 million visits. The number of foreign tourist visits in November 2020 experienced a sharp decline of 86.31 percent. On the other hand, when compared to the previous month, October 2020, the number of foreign tourist visits in November 2020 increased by 13.90 percent. This number consists of foreign tourists visiting through air entrances as many as 43.39 thousand visits, sea entrances as many as 43.34 thousand visits, and land entrances as many as 88.58 thousand visits (Figure 2).

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The room occupancy rate (TPK) for star hotel classifications in Indonesia in November 2020 was an average of 40.14 percent. The highest percentage of TPK was in Lampung province at 59.14 percent, followed by Gorontalo Province at 58.80 percent, and Central Kalimantan at 58.21 percent, while Bali recorded the lowest percentage at 9.32 percent. The highest percentage of TPK was in Lampung province, namely 59.14 percent, followed by Gorontalo Province at 58.80 percent, and Central Kalimantan at 58.21 percent, while Bali recorded the lowest percentage at 9.32 percent. The TPK in November 2020 decreased by 18.44 points when compared to the TPK in November 2019, which was 58.58 percent. This decrease in TPK occurred in all provinces except Gorontalo Province which increased by 10.01 points and North Kalimantan Province which increased by 0.16 points. Meanwhile, the highest decrease in TPK was in Bali Province with 50.14 points, followed by Riau Islands Province, Bengkulu and North Maluku with 31.92 points, 23.87 points and 22.51 points respectively. Meanwhile, the lowest decline was Central Kalimantan Province at 0.23 points, followed by Central Sulawesi Province at 0.29 points and Maluku Province at 1.56 points (Figure 3).

The decline in the tourism sector has an impact on the related economic sector, namely a decrease in economic activity in the tourism sector. These economic sectors include the manufacturing industry, transportation, provision of food and drink accommodation as well as wholesale and retail trade (Aji et al., 2018). According to Kemenparekraf data received by Katadata.co.id on April 7, 2020, 10,946 tourism businesses were affected and 30,421 tourism workers lost their jobs. Furthermore, in emergency response conditions, BPS noted, the occupancy rate of five-star hotels in May 2020 was 14.45%, much lower than in 2019 which was 43.53%. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) noted that 2,000 hotels and 8,000 restaurants stopped operating during the PSBB period. Utilization of the digital economy is one solution that can be used by business actors in the tourism sector in order to survive and rise from adversity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, of course without heeding consumer safety guarantees and complying with health protocols.

C. Government Steps in Restoring the Tourism Sector

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector is very significant, so strategic steps are needed to restore the tourism sector. The steps taken by the government through the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenkarekraf) are to improve supply and demand with six steps in the tourism and creative economy sectors. among others are :

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1. Prepare tourist destinations.

2. Build a competitive connectivity infrastructure with other countries.

3. Implementation and monitoring of the implementation of the CHSE protocol in the regions. 4. Creating and building a tourist attraction.

5. Improving the quality of human resources for creative economy workers. 6. Increasing the quantity and quality of creative economy products

In addition to these 6 steps, the government is preparing another program, namely the preparation of a tourism grant program in order to help the Regional Government (Pemda) and the tourism industry such as hotels and restaurants which are currently experiencing financial pressure and recovery from the decline in Regional Original Income (PAD) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19. The total funds disbursed reached Rp. 3.3 trillion as the government's efforts to maintain the economic sustainability of the tourism sector. The Tourism Grant Fund is a grant fund through a transfer mechanism to the regions aimed at local governments as well as hotel and restaurant businesses in 101 regencies/cities based on several criteria, namely the capital of 34 provinces, located in 10 Priority Tourism Destinations (DPP) and 5 Super Priority Destinations. (DSP), regions that include 100 Calendar of Events (COE), branding destinations, as well as regions with income from Hotel Tax and Restaurant Tax (PHPR) of at least 15 percent of the total PAD for the 2019 fiscal year. This Tourism Grant Fund will be implemented until December 2020. Increasing exports and digitizing the marketing of creative economy products (Ekraf) is one of the government's steps in an effort to restore the tourism and creative economy sectors.

CONCLUSION A. Conclusion

From the data analysis and discussion that has been carried out, it can be concluded that the Covid-19 pandemic that occurred had a decreasing impact on the tourism sector. The existence of a large-scale social restriction (PSBB) policy has a fairly large economic impact on the tourism sector. The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) noted that cumulative foreign tourist visits to Indonesia during the January-November 2020 period only reached 3.89 million visits, lower than the same period in the previous year of 14.73 million foreign tourists or a sharp decline. by 73.60 percent. There were 10,946 tourism businesses affected and 30,421 tourism workers lost their jobs. The government through the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenkarekraf) has taken several policy steps to improve the tourism sector and the creative economy. Increasing exports and digitizing the marketing of creative economy products (Ekraf) is one of the government's steps, so it is expected to be able to restore national tourism. B. Suggestion

Based on the discussion and conclusions drawn above, the suggestions that researchers give in this study are:

1. The intensity of socialization and training on tourism needs to be increased so that more and more people are aware of the importance of tourism and have the ability to see and manage the potential of economic tourism in their area.

2. Although the number of tourists every year during the Covid-19 period tends to decrease, the promotion department needs to hold more innovative and creative promotional programs, such as organizing a special tour package in the Central Java Region and increasing promotion through the internet, especially the promotion of special interest tourism objects that have special interests. higher

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