Labuan Bajo, 10 May 2022 –
The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of Tourism and Creative Economy Agency (Menparekraf), Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, opens the 1st Tourism Working Group online on Tuesday (10/5/2022). He is optimistic that the tourism and creative economy sector is able to recover the global economy.
The presence of the 1st TWG as one of the working groups of the Indonesian Presidency at the 2022 G20 Summits, is a forum to exchange ideas, experiences, to best practices carried out by the G20 countries as well as guest countries and international institutions.
Menparekraf Sandiaga explained that tourism is the third-largest export sector in the global economy. Many countries, especially developing countries, depend on tourism as 20 percent of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) comes from the tourism sector.
“Global economic recovery is inseparable from the recovery in the tourism sector. And of course, regardless of its concrete economic benefits, tourism functions as a platform to connect and bridge the community, create friendship and connection making our life better,” according to Menparekraf Sandiga Uno.
Menparekraf explained that the number of global tourists in 2020 decreased by one billion from the previous year or declined around 74 percent.
Meanwhile, at the national level, the impact of the pandemic on the tourism and creative economy sector is also tremendous. There is a significant decrease in foreign tourist arrivals by 75 percent and 30 percent for domestic tourists.
As a result, the community livelihood was disturbed, as there are 34 million Indonesian people who depend on their jobs in the tourism and creative economy sector.
“Therefore, this tourism meeting will discuss solutions to recover 80 percent of the global economy with the participation of the G20 countries in preparing a joint agreement to recover global tourism,” he added.
“We can meet the future challenges by, first, carrying out a multi-stakeholder approach towards sustainable tourism development. Second, strengthening the role of the tourism community as the agents of change. And lastly, designing a method to ensure a safe tourists movement during the pandemic,” he continued.
To realize this matter, the G20 countries were involved in preparing the G20 Bali Guidelines, which will become one of the outcome documents of the Tourism Working Group (TWG). The MOTCE has sent the draft of the guidelines to the G20 countries in the form of a survey.
In the survey, each member of the G20 countries was asked to provide best practices from the five lines of action used as the basis for preparing the draft guidelines as each country has a different approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Thus, the solutions and policies from these countries become the basis for preparing the draft guidelines.
These five lines of action include human capital related to employment, skills, entrepreneurship, and education, how tourism HR are able see market needs and wants, create new employments, be able to bring added value from their products and services.
Second, innovation, digitization, and the creative economy. Focus on how the community is able to be more innovative, creative, and adaptive in entering the digital economy ecosystem order, so that creative economy actors can reach a wider market.
Third, women and youth empowerment. Menparekraf conveyed those women and young workers in tourism sector were among the most affected by the pandemic. Therefore, they needed more well-targeted support.
“We need to find out how we can better empower our women and young employees in the tourism sector, how we are against gender discrimination, and to encourage more entrepreneurial drive among women and youth in tourism,” Menparekraf explained.
Fourth, climate action, biodiversity conservations, and circular economy, in which, the use of energy, land, water, and food resources in the tourism sector can reduce carbon emissions.
And lastly, the policy framework, governance, and investment, with a focus on making policies and steps more holistic to support the four pillars of the lines of action.
“In this case, we need to discuss how we can improve stakeholders’ coordination between relevant ministries and institutions in strengthening synergies between public and private actors to support more sustainable investments in tourism,” Menparekraf said.
Menparekraf expected that this tourism meeting would result in strategic policies for global tourism, namely the “Bali Guidelines on Strengthening Communities and MSMEs as tourism transformation agents – a People-Centered Recovery”
Chair of Tourism Working Group, Frans Teguh, stated that the data presented by the Menparekraf Sandiaga shows that tourism is starting to revive from its lowest point. “We must maintain this momentum towards more sustainable tourism recovery,” Frans said.
Although the number of tourists at the beginning of 2022 was still 67 percent lower than in 2019, this number is strived to continue to increase in line with the increasingly controlled handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with the presence of vaccinations and strict health protocols. Because the recovery in the tourism sector cannot be instant, it needs to be carried out gradually and in stages.
“Therefore, within two days, we will discuss how to encourage tourism recovery and how to bring in more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient tourism through the Bali Guidelines,” Frans added.
Also delivering remarks at the 1st TWG were the Chief of Market Intelligence and Competitiveness of UNWTO Sandra Carvao; Senior Vice President, Advocacy and Communication WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) Virginia Messina; Director of the Sectoral Policies Department ILO (International Labour Organization) Alette van Leur; and Head of Tourism Unit OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Jane Stacey.
The 2nd TWG meeting will be held offline in Bali on September 23, 2022, and its peak meeting, namely the “Tourism Ministerial Meeting (TMM)” will be held offline in Bali on September 26, 2022.