Indonesian authorities are expected to focus on improving health and hygiene at popular tourist attractions across the country, starting with revitalizing facilities in Bali this month.
Wawan Gunawan, regional director of destination development at the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, said the next phase of the revitalization program will cover destinations located across the island, with improvements being adjusted according to the priorities and needs of each site.
“At the moment, hygiene and health are extremely important things for travelers,” said Wawan.
Indonesian officials and tourism stakeholders have previously reported their preparations for a world that looks far different after the COVID-19 pandemic, whose relevant strategies would include a focus on both health and hygiene.
The revitalization program is expected to begin this month and will include upgrading and adding sanitary facilities such as toilets. According to Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Destination Development Hari Sungkari, a number of tourist attractions in Bali are not equipped with such amenities.
“It is very important for tourist destinations to keep their toilets clean, according to international standards,” Hari said.
Good hygiene in sanitary facilities, whether in Bali or the rest of Indonesia, is not really common. While traveling on the road, for example, one can only hope to come across a clean toilet, as guarantees of such cleanliness should perhaps only be expected in more sophisticated places, such as hotels, restaurants. and shopping centers.
“They don’t need to be fancy, but the facilities and toilets need to be well-equipped and function properly,” said Nani Sumaryati Firmansyah of the Indonesian Toilet Association.
“If a tourist’s first impression of the toilet is bad, then they will immediately think that the tourist site is poorly managed,” Nani said.
The program could set a precedent for the future of tourism in Indonesia, at least in terms of hygiene. However, maintaining these standards over the long term will likely prove more difficult, given how many of these tourist spots have gone years without paying special attention to health or hygiene.