Indonesia’s cultural heritage sites suffer amid pandemic

Indonesia is home to beautiful natural sites as well as iconic cultural heritage sites such as the Borobudur and Prambanan temples. They have attracted local and international tourists for years, but since the implementation of social and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these sites have suffered revenue losses – forcing those in charge to find new methods.

New approaches to tourism in Indonesia

Borobudur Temple 1Borobudur Temple
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The tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. In addition to airlines, hotels, and eateries, cultural and natural tourist destinations have not been doing well. However, those managing temples, museums, cultural institutions, and other places that can teach visitors the history of a particular region have begun to reach out to the public online.

Bird's eye view of Prambanan
Prambanan Temple
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Since not everyone is familiar with digital tours of tourist destinations, their development will take time. As reported by the Jakarta Globe, Restu Gunawan, the Ministry of Education and Culture’s director for cultural development, said that to get the new system of digital tours up and running, people from different fields have to be involved. These include historians, archaeologists, as well as activists to help create well-researched tours to educate local and global audiences.

In addition to building a proper platform for visitors to see their favorite heritage sites, users will be led by virtual tour guides who will need to be well-trained. 

Virtual tours of cultural and natural heritage sites

Borobudur temple 2
Borobudur Temple 
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Though virtual tourism is still in the very early stages of development, websites such as provide 360-degree tours for those who miss traveling and want to get a preview of their next destination.

Komodo Island
Komodo Island
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You can already visit several Indonesian sites on its online tours, such as the Borobudur and Prambanan Temples, Komodo Island, and Raja Ampat, just to name a few.

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Traveling without going anywhere

Seeing places you’ve always wanted to visit on a computer or phone screen might not be ideal, but virtual tourism could turn out to be an interesting alternative, and even help you plan your future travels when it’s safe to venture out to see the real thing. Most importantly, “online traveling” could be a great way to get your mind out of your house for a while. 

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Cover image adapted from: @eugeniaclara and @rizknas

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