Riau Islands to be Opened for Singaporean Tourists, Govt Set to Create MoU

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  • Domestic tourists cycle at the Kepri Coral Resort in Batam, Riau Islands Province on Friday, October 9, 2020. TEMPO | Yogi Eka Sahputra

    Domestic tourists cycle at the Kepri Coral Resort in Batam, Riau Islands Province on Friday, October 9, 2020. TEMPO | Yogi Eka Sahputra

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe plan to open the Riau Islands tourism for Singaporean tourists received a positive signal. The Riau Islands Tourism Office said that the Indonesian government is preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on tourism to be submitted to the Singapore government.

    "The MoU involves relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. This is the right step so that tourists from Singapore can visit Lagoi," said the Head of the Riau Islands Tourism Office, Buralimar, Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

    Indonesia previously planned to implement a travel bubble policy with Singapore to restore the tourism sector in the Riau Islands, especially in Batam and Bintan. However, the plan was delayed several times due to the increase in Covid-19 cases in the two countries.

    According to Buralimar, up until now, not only the Singapore government closed its people's access to Indonesia, the Indonesian government is also implementing the same thing to prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

    Therefore, said Buralimar, open access to tourism requires an agreement between the two countries. "It cannot be opened immediately. If it is opened without an agreement, who will visit if the two countries still close the access," he said.

    According to Buralimar, the management of the tourism area in Lagoi has been ready for the past few months to welcome tourists from Singapore. They have built a tracking system using barcodes for tourists to make it easier to trace if anyone is infected with Covid-19, as well as built cooperation with the Riau Islands Hospital in Tanjungpinang and the Special Infection Hospital in Galang, Batam.

    Buralimar hopes that the MoU between the Governments of Indonesia and Singapore will soon be agreed so that in October 2021 it can be implemented. He is optimistic that the Singapore government will approve and open access for the people to go on vacation in Lagoi. "Before the pandemic, most tourists from Singapore visited Lagoi," he said.

    Read: Sandiaga Uno Encourages Riau Islands to Offer Longer Travel Packages

    Ninis Chairunnisa | Maudey K. Setyakusuma (Internship)