Officials in Indonesia are set to focus on improving the health and hygiene in popular tourist attractions across the country, starting with revitalizing facilities in Bali this month. Wawan Gunawan, a regional destination development director at the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, said that the upcoming phase of the revitalization program will cover destinations located across the island, whereby improvements would be adjusted according to the priorities and needs of each site. “At this time, hygiene and health are extremely important things for travelers,” Wawan said.
Indonesian officials and tourism players have previously signaled their preparations for a world that looks much different after the COVID-19 pandemic, relevant strategies of which would include a focus on both health and hygiene. The revitalization program is set to commence this month and will include improving and adding sanitation facilities such as toilets. According to the ministry’s deputy of infrastructure and destination development, Hari Sungkari, a number of tourist attractions in Bali are not equipped with such amenities. “It’s very important for tourist destinations to keep their toilets clean, according to international standards,” Hari said.
Proper hygiene in sanitation facilities, be it in Bali or the rest of Indonesia, are not exactly commonplace. When traveling on the road, for example, one can only hope to stumble upon a clean toilet, as guarantees of such cleanliness should perhaps only be expected at more sophisticated locations, such as hotels, restaurants, and malls. “They don’t have to be luxurious, but the facilities and toilet amenities must be well-equipped and functioning 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 badly managed,” Nani said. The program might set precedent for the future of tourism in Indonesia, at least in terms of hygiene. However, maintaining these standards in the long run is likely to prove more challenging, considering how many of these tourist sites have gone years without paying close attention to health or hygiene.