Indonesia is to begin admitting Chinese tourists again, along with several Southeast Asian countries, following the lifting of travel restrictions from the country.
This is despite recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in China.
Entry regulations for Chinese tourists will remain the same as for other travellers. Visitors entering Indonesia are required to show proof of full vaccination and no longer need to undergo PCR or antigen tests upon arrival.
“There has been a wave of COVID-19 cases in other countries such as China. Of course, we are still monitoring. The government always conducts epidemiological surveillance at entry points such as airports to prevent cases from entering from other countries,” said the spokesperson for the COVID-19 Handling Task Force, Wiku Adisasmito.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno claimed that the ministry remains vigilant, especially from the health aspect. Even with this, the target of 250,0000 tourists from China can be met, he added.
Foreign tourists from China visiting Indonesia have a large impact. In 2019, two million visitors arrived from the country, the second-highest number of tourists from any one country in Indonesia.
“I heard from the Health Minister that we have an immunity level above 98 percent. Let’s work on the Chinese market with enthusiasm, but we focus on quality, sustainability, longer stays, and also the increase of spending on the local economy. We must ensure to welcome Chinese tourists in an open manner with great care,” continued the minister.
Chinese airlines have begun sending in requests to be able to fly directly from Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing to Indonesia, especially to Jakarta and Bali.
“While waiting for Garuda’s readiness, we also hope that Lion and Batik can fill requests for direct flights from China. Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern have requested an increase in the number of flights so that the first quarter will see the achievement of the target,” he said.
According to a report from VNExpress, Cambodia is another country that’s ready to receive Chinese tourists again. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that Cambodia wants Chinese tourists to come there soon.
Cambodia received more than two million Chinese tourists a year pre-pandemic, meaning almost 40 percent of all international arrivals were Chinese tourists.
“There is no obligation to test anything for Chinese tourists, they can come as normal tourists,” he said.
At the same time, many other countries have begun to tighten borders for Chinese tourists. The United States, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Canada, Japan, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, South Korea, Morocco, and Qatar are among the countries enforcing mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 tests for Chinese travellers.