Tourism and Creative Industry: Opportunities and Challenges during and after Covid-19 pandemic

Knowledge Sharing Forum (KSF) which was held on Thursday (29/07/2021) entered its 21st series. The theme of this KSF is “Tourism and Creative Industry: Opportunity and Challenges During and After Covid-19 Pandemic.” The program was organized online via Zoom Meeting and YouTube UT-TV with the resourceful persons Dr. Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, B.B.A., M.B.A. (Minister of Tourism and Creative Economics RI), Ir. H. Maulana Yusran, M.B.A., M.Sc. (Secretary General of the Indonesian Association of Hotels and Restaurants), Prof. Dr. Ginta Ginting, M.B.A. (Universitas Terbuka), and the moderator is Kurnia Endah Riana, S.E., M.Com. (Universitas Terbuka).

The program was opened with the remarks of UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat M.Bus, Ph.D. He said that Covid-19 pandemic is still happening and plaguing the world, and this condition has forced the world’s economy into recession. In Indonesia, the spread of the virus has affected many sectors, including the economics sector. The majority of the economic activities are adversely affected by the pandemic, and the tourism and creative economics sectors are the one that are most harmfully affected by the pandemic. In tourism sector, many government policies to lockdown in many countries, social distancing, and the restriction of social activities have forced the breaking of the links of tourism industry, including among others: transportation, hospitality or hotel, tourist attraction, and other businesses. In the creative economics sector, the impacts of the pandemic have affected many, including among others: entertainment industry, culinary, micro small cooperative and medium businesses (UMKM) and other industries. Many business people in tourism industry and creative economics are just unable to stay in their businesses as they suffered from drastic decrease in their business revenues or turnover as the purchasing power of the people has significantly fallen. This phenomenon which is derived from the pandemic impacts has pushed the tourism industry and creative economics to be always optimistic, invigorated, and revived in facing the challenges, opening the opportunities or chances, making accelerated inflation and transformation by continuing to adapt post covid-19 pandemic in the future.

Furthermore, Dr. Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, B.B.A., M.B.A. (Minister of Tourism and Creative Economics RI) said that the impacts from the pandemic on tourism and creative economics are so overwhelming, the significant decrease of the number of foreign tourists by 75% and the domestic tourists by around 30%. More than 2 million people have lost their jobs of the total 34 million who work in tourism and creative economics sectors. Then, there are 3 main pillars for the recovery of tourism and creative economic, namely innovation, adaptation, and collaboration. As a great nation, we need to collaborate with others, we should not enjoy too much on competition, we should not forget innovation by utilizing the digital technology and adapt amid the pandemic by putting forward the health protocol strictly and in well-controlled manner. Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economics has extended grants last year and IDR 2.3 trillion has been realized and distributed from the total budget of 3.3 trillion.

In the exposition presented by Ir. H. Maulana Yusran, M.B.A., M.Sc. (Secretary General of the Indonesian Association of Hotels and Restaurants) which discussed the opportunities and challenges in hotel and restaurants business sectors during post covid-19 pandemic, he explained that the tourism sector of the foreign tourists and domestic tourists have gone down very significantly due to the covid-19 pandemic. The impacts of the pandemic in all the regions consists of 3 main aspects, namely the decrease of tax revenues from hotels and restaurants in each of the regencies/cities throughout Indonesia, the significant decline in goods and services demand of the small and medium businesses (UMK)sector, and the decline of hotel occupancy and consumers in restaurants. Maulana Yusran said that the adoption of accommodation marketing programs during the covid-19 pandemic by providing accommodation promotion packages and partnership with the government, and then business transformation in hotel and restaurants business sectors which is the transformation of health and security standards, digitalization transformation, efficiency transformation, and in addition, employment opportunities will be more difficult. The key for the recovery in tourism sector is vaccination of covid-19 pandemic, supervision of health protocol among the people. 

Prof. Dr. Ginta Ginting, M.B.A. (Universitas Terbuka) in his talks said that we have to see the blessing in disguise behind this Covid-19 pandemic in order to create more resilient, adaptive, and competitive tourism businesses and creative economics. The business persons in the tourism sector have been “leveled up” meaning that they would have the extraordinary capability, i.e. their concern about health, security and safety (K3).

Subsequently, they would be able to improve new skills and capability, by this pandemic, such as digitalization as one solution to protect and maintain their businesses. Nonetheless, this pandemic has also created some opportunities the business people in tourism industry and creative economics, including among others, shifting of business models from traditional tourism management to digital tourism management, which would become the opportunity for them to maintain and recover the national tourism sector, and in addition, the digital creative economics sector can also promote their contribution on GDP, and furthermore, the orientation of the market segments are also shifting from foreign tourists to domestic tourists. In his conclusion, Prof. Dr. Ginta Ginting, M.B.A. stated that the survival in tourism sector is not only about the recovery, but also about the strategic recovery and transformability upon which the resilience can be built, and this resilience is the key for the development of tourism and creative economics in the future as the powerlessness in coping with this kind

of disaster can be anticipated through risk management strategy such that, in terms of the effects, tourism industry and creative economics would not go further down at the present time. Thus, transformation and resilience strategies would make tourism industry and creative economics progressing, competitive, sustainable, and supporting local wisdom.