TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo or Jokowi was optimistic that the priority tourism destination of Likupang in North Minahasa, North Sulawesi, will again be crowded by foreign tourists, either from Europe, China, Japan, and Korea. Moreover, flights from China will reopen in February 2023.
“[Flights] from China will reopen starting February. Three or four planes will visit [Likupang] in early February,” said the President in Likupang on Thursday, January 19, 2022.
“I think this [tourism] will return to normal. That means since its agricultural sector and tourism sector are supported, North Sulawesi will be very good,” he added.
Likupang is one of the super priority destinations designed by the government. Others include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara.
The state head assessed that the infrastructure in North Sulawesi is quite good by far, which is evident from the airport in the area that is ready to accommodate a large number of passengers and the land route from the airport to Likupang that has been much improved.
The government, he mentioned, also prepared a sea route that could speed up the travel time from the city to Likupang to only 15-20 minutes.
He thus shared optimism that it would attract investors and hoped all Indonesia’s tourist destinations affected by the pandemic could quickly recover and return to normal.
Jokowi also claimed that tourism recovery in Indonesia is much faster than in other countries. “Bali is now flocked by tourists, even though it has not returned to the pre-pandemic level, it reaches more than 60-70 percent,” he said.
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