Vacation Spot in Indonesia During COVID-19 Pandemic

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      Thiorifqi
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      At present, a virus outbreak called Covid-19 or coronavirus is greatly feared by humans around the world.  The origin of this virus comes from mammals that only one can fly, namely bats.  Then the virus in this bat is released and begins to infect humans.  Perhaps what makes this virus so dangerous is that an infected person will have a long-term impact on his lungs.  Symptoms that arise also in the form of mild respiratory infections, such as flu.  This virus has spread almost all over the world, one of which is Indonesia. The government insists that all activities that gather large numbers of people be stopped temporarily.  Shops, markets, supermarkets, everything is closed, there may be some that remain open but by carrying out proper health procedures, such as washing hands with soap, using masks, not physical contact, etc. Some aspects are affected by the spread of the disease outbreak, ranging from education, employment, economy, and so forth. One of those affected is the hospitality industry, especially those in Indonesia. So, how about the condition of the hospitality industry in Indonesia during the Covid-19 pandemic?

      When the coronavirus began to spread in Indonesia, tourist attractions there was awful of the arrival of many visitors.  At that time there were still many people who did not care about the danger of the plague.  Even though the government has announced a grave status for co-19 in Indonesia.  Large-scale social restrictions were also not tightened at the time, so there were still many who travelled freely, but a few days later, positive cases in Indonesia were increasing.  At that time the government tightened large-scale social restrictions, to reduce the number of positive cases of COVID-19.  Health protocols are implemented in almost every region in Indonesia.  The protocols are in the form of, testing body temperature, washing hands with soap before starting activities, using masks, reducing activities that gather a lot of people and avoid physical contact.  After the government tightened the policy, people began to obey the rules.  Shops, markets, supermarkets are almost closed.  Even tourist attractions are also closed to comply with these government regulations.  Lots of entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry complain that there is a decline in the economic sector in their companies due to the coronavirus outbreak.  They were forced to close down their businesses temporarily, but the impact was very large.  Although there are tourists, the number is not as much as before the outbreak for example, as in the Special Region of Yogyakarta, usually, foreign tourists are always seen passing by on the road, but since the presence of the coronavirus, almost not seen at all.  Hotels are also empty of visitors, many delays and cancellations of hotel room bookings, not infrequently some hotel companies lay employees off and close the hotel for a while.  Employees working in the tourism industry also complained that they had no income during the coronavirus outbreak because they were dismissed by their superiors. After all, the number of visitors continues to decline.

      After several months passed, the government finally decided to create a new normal scenario in several regions. The government has prepared everything for the scenario, even though Indonesia is considered not ready to be in that phase. People began to be allowed to do activities as usual. Shops, markets, malls and even public transportation are starting to be allowed to operate again, but on condition that the health protocol must be implemented properly. This could also be an opportunity for the tourism industry entrepreneurs to reopen his company to be visited by tourists. This could be a recovery step for those economies that plummeted previously, some companies even make promotion by giving discounts to the visitors at certain hours. New normal does not mean that everything is normal like before the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, but what is meant is how humans can adapt to coexist with COVID-19. Likewise in the tourism industry which still runs health protocols, such as asking employees and visitors to be measured their body temperature first, wearing masks, not gathering too much, and washing their hands with soap. Therefore, some companies make policies by limiting the number of tourists who are allowed to visit or stay overnight, and some also ask visitors to show their residence cards. This is done so that the tourism industry can find out whether visitors come from the surrounding area or outside the region from the exact tourism industry is located. Because if visitors who come from out of town just arrived, will be asked to be quarantined for fourteen days in the local area or even if the tourist industry is a hotel then they must be quarantined at the hotel. This is all for the sake of mutual safety because the coronavirus is still not over and we don’t know when it will be finished. We can see one example of the tourism industry in Indonesia that limits the number of visitors, such as TMII (Taman Mini Indonesia Indah) located in the capital city of Jakarta. After being closed during the large-scale social restrictions period at the end of April 2020, it finally reopened after the implementation of new normal, but the number of visitors was limited and only opened from eight in the morning until six in the afternoon. TMII also gave promo tickets to buy one free two tickets held until the specified date.

       

      Nevertheless, there are still many people who misunderstand about the implementation of the new normal. They think the meaning of the new normal is the same as normal before and think that the coronavirus has disappeared. Therefore, many do not implement health protocols properly, such as not wearing a mask, not washing their hands, gathering with many people to cross the line. Because of that, many tourist attractions are overwhelmed because of the increasing number of visitors. Things like this can be said as a tourist revenge phenomenon because they were not allowed to go out for a long time, so when there is a slight gap they will use it as much as possible to refresh or entertain themselves after long quarantined. This may be good for economic development in the tourism industry, but not for the implementation of a new normal, which should be carried out in an orderly manner. However, the tourism industry must continue to tighten and implement health protocols in an orderly manner, so that the new normal can run successfully like a transition for humans to a new normal life.

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