Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio, has announced a disbursement of IDR3.3 trillion (USD224 million) grant to aid tourism-related businesses, particularly hotels and restaurants, to cope with the impact of the pandemic, and to finance improved health protocol implementation at tourist destinations. The grant is expected to be disbursed until December as part of the government’s IDR695.2 trillion Covid-19 national economy recovery fund which is set up to finance the healthcare system and bolster the economy. The grant would be available in regions where revenue from hotel and restaurant tax accounted for at least 15 percent of its locally generated income in the 2019 financial year. Some of these regions are Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara and Borobudur, Central Java, and other branding destinations and regions included on the Ministry’s calendar of events. The bulk of the grant, 70 percent of it will be distributed to hotels and restaurants, while the rest will be set aside for regional cash injection. Alongside the grant, the Tourism Ministry plans to set aside IDR119 billion to provide free cleanliness, health, safety and environmental sustainability certification to local businesses in order to help regain tourists’ trust in travel.
Thailand-based ONYX Hospitality Group is entering a partnership with Ratanakorn Asset, a Thai real estate company, for three new developments in Pattaya, including the first YOO Beach Club, the Asia-Pacific region’s first Yoo2 Hotel, and Southeast Asia’s Shama Hub. The YOO Beach club will be located adjacent to the 400-key Amari Jomtien Pattaya which is currently under construction. They will form part of a mixed-use beachfront development located in Na Jomtien Beach. Slated to open in 2024, it will incorporate a community retail mall and events space. Located in Wongamat Beach, the 100-key upscale lifestyle hotel, Yoo2 and 250-key studio-living concept, Shama Hub, will be constructed as a dual-branded hotel tower. Both properties will entail district product offerings and experiences.
On 23 October 2020, Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry and the German Federal Foreign Office have agreed to establish a reciprocal green lane for essential business and official travel via direct flights between the two countries. Details of the green lane, including the procedural requirements, health protocols and application process, will be announced at a later date. Germany has also announced that Singapore residents can enter Germany again for short-term stays, without having to undergo quarantine on arrival starting from 27 October. The move follows the European Council’s recommendation this week that member countries of the European Union may gradually lift entry restrictions on Singapore residents. However, Singapore has no green lane arrangements with countries in Europe presently. Singapore currently has in place travel arrangements with ten other countries and territories, with varied restrictions.
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