West Sumatra empty of foreign tourists in April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic

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West Sumatra empty of foreign tourists in April 2020 due to  COVID-19 pandemic

Tourists drive ATVs at Air Manis Beach in Padang for the 2020 Eid holiday. (ANTARA / Iggoy el Fitra)

Padang (ANTARA) - Foreign tourist visits to W Sumatra were zero according to the provincial Statistics Agency (BPS) records in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In March 2020 there were still 2,495 foreign tourists visiting W Sumatra, in April 2020 it dropped by 100 percent and there were no arrivals at all," said Head of W Sumatra BPS, Pitono in Padang, Tuesday.

He mentioned in January to April 2020 there were 10,874 foreign tourists who had visited W Sumatra, dominated from Malaysia 8,831 people, 296 Australians and 255 Chinese people.

Not only that in April 2020 the number of passengers at the Minangkabau International Airport (BIM) also decreased compared to February 2020.

Baca juga: Want to travel to West Sumatra in 'new normal' era? let's see this simulation

In April 2020 the number of passengers departing was only 15.11 thousand people, down 81.77 percent compared to the previous month and passengers arriving 29.15 thousand people or down 72.88 percent.

Previously, Andalas University Padang Academic, Dr. Sari Lenggogeni assessed that the tourism sector was one of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It will take at least two years to recover the tourism sector in the country," she said.

She explained that the tourism sector is very vulnerable to natural disasters and crises, currently is happening a crisis in the health sector that has made people to travel down dramatically.

According to her, referring to the data reported by the WTO, this condition is same to a decrease in tourists for seven years from the current figures.

This also caused around 400 million people in he world engaged in tourism to lose their jobs, she said.

Baca juga: BPS : Ekspor Sumbar April 2020 turun akibat adanya pandemi COVID-19

In line with that, the W Sumatra Tourism Office has prepared a health protocol according to the policies required in the new normal era for tourists who will visit.

"We have made a simulation and document it as a reference for tourists and tourism businesses in W Sumatra regarding health protocol standards that must be met during the new normal era," said Head of W Sumatra Tourism Office, Novrial.

Health procedures start from the Minangkabau International Airport (BIM), restaurants, tourist attractions to lodging.

Transleted by: Mutiara Ramadhani

Baca juga: Kunjungan wisatawan asing ke Sumbar April 2020 nihil, akibat adanya pandemi COVID-19

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Editor: Maswandi
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