Batam: Batam City Administration's Cultural and Tourism Office believes the tourism industry in the region remains vibrant amid global fear of China's novel coronavirus outbreak.
"Batam city's tourism industry still runs normally," Head of the Batam City Administration's Cultural and Tourism Office Ardiwinata said here on Monday, February 3, 2020.
According to him, the number of Chinese tourists coming to Batam is not significant compared to those of Singapore and Malaysia. Therefore, the coronavirus outbreak in China is believed to not significantly affect the total number of foreign tourist arrivals in the city.
Besides Chinese tourists, there are no information on travelers from other countries wanting to postpone their visits to Batam. To subtitute Chinese tourists, the Batam City Administration has worked with related stakeholders of tourism industry to prepare a strategy for attracting more local tourists.
On Sunday, President Joko Widodo held a limited meeting at the Halim Perdana Kusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta with several cabinet members as well as national police and military chiefs. It was held following the evacuation of 238 Indonesians and five members of an advance team from China's Hubei Province.
Speaking to journalists following the meeting, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the government would temporarily ban flights to and from mainland China. The policy would be effective from 00:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.
In the interim, the government has also put a stop to the visa-free policy and issuance of visa on arrival for Chinese nationals residing in Mainland China. All visitors, coming in from mainland China and been there for 14 days, were also temporarily banned from entering or making a transit in Indonesia. (Antara)