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This national park consists of hills and mountains with Mount Kelibara (1,731 m) as the highest peak., East Nusa Tenggara – The Ende District Government hopes that Kelimutu National Park and the surrounding area in Kelimutu Sub-district, Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, will be designated a geopark area in 2021.

“Since 2018, we have made preparations for the establishment of a geopark in Kelimutu National Park, and the government’s target is to ensure that it materializes in 2021,” Hiparkus Hepi, head of the tourism office of Ende District, said here Thursday (3/10/2019).

A working team has been set up to prepare the designation of Kelimutu National Park as a geopark, in cooperation with a team from West Java.

Consultants will conduct field studies on biodiversity, geology, and culture within the national park which is known for its unique three-colored lake.

“From birds, plants, rocks and traditional culture in Kelimutu area will be studied, and the results will be examined by teams from the central government and UNESCO which has the authority to issue a recommendation whether it is qualified or not,” he said.

He was optimistic that Kelimutu National Park would be recognized as a geopark and provide numerous benefits to the local government and community.

As a geopark, tourism in Ende will be promoted internationally and it will attract many tourists.

People will come to Ende for tourism, scientific research, cultural studies, and other interests and these will benefit the regional government and community, he added.

In the meantime, the Sixth Asia Pacific Geoparks Network (APGN) Symposium was held in Geopark Rinjani, Lombok, NTB, from Aug 30 to Sept 6, 2019.

“We propose two national geoparks — Belitung and Toba — to be discussed for inclusion into the UNESCO global geoparks list during the APGN meeting in Lombok,” Anton Setyo Nugroho, head of the Maritime Innovation Network Department of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Office, concurrently secretary of the Indonesian National Geoparks Committee, had noted last August.

Out of Indonesia’s 15 national geoparks, four — Batur in Bali, Ciletuh-Pelabuhanratu in West Java, Gunung Sewu in Yogyakarta, and Rinjani in NTB — have been included into the List of UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp).

No less than 110 regions across Indonesia have the potential to be developed into geoparks, he pointed out. The figure is small in comparison with China which has 220 of them, of which 39 have been included in the List of UGGps. (alk)

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The Tourism Agency of West Manggarai District, tasked with managing Labuan Bajo's tourism activities, pegged its total tourist visits in 2019 at 184,206, increasing from 163,807 people in 2018., Labuan Bajo – The tourist destination of Labuan Bajo, located in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), is expected to host some international forums and events to promote the region, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated on Monday (20/1/2020).

“Most importantly, I want to develop Labuan Bajo to host the G20 Summit as well as ASEAN Summit, both to be held in 2023,” Jokowi noted during a limited meeting he attended at a hotel in Labuan Bajo wherein the attendees also comprised his ministers and government officials.

For this plan, the preparations are already underway from now on, Jokowi remarked while addressing Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama, SOEs Minister Erick Thohir, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, Governor of NTT Viktor Laiskodat, and others.

“It is a huge task that we should complete by the end of this year. We need to improve the quality of local products as well as upgrade the infrastructure, landscape, and waste management, as well as provide good water,” Jokowi noted while setting the target at the start of 2021 for promotion undertaken by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

The Tourism Agency of West Manggarai District, tasked with managing Labuan Bajo’s tourism activities, pegged its total tourist visits in 2019 at 184,206, increasing from 163,807 people in 2018.

Thus, the original local government revenue from the tourism sector, particularly pertaining to its retribution fee, nearly doubled, from Rp34 billion to Rp60 billion.

Labuan Bajo’s main attraction that has drawn more tourists to visit is the komodo, Varanus komodoensis, a dragon-like lizard endemic to the region. (dln)

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NTB would continue to promote its natural scenery, culture, traditions and culinary to attract tourists from Australia which is geographically relatively close from Lombok., Mataram – The 2019 Indonesia Festival held in Perth, Australia, on Oct 25-27 promoted West Nusa Tenggara’s islands of Lombok and Sumbawa tourism destinations.

The three-day festival was held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Australia, at Elizabeth Quay, Perth, Anita Achmad, chairperson of the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Tourism Promotion Office, said here on Sunday (27/10/2019).

The event was jointly organized by the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI), the Tourism Ministry and the NTB provincial administration.

“Australia is a promising market for the tourism industry of Lombok and Sumbawa Islands. A direct flight from Australia to Lombok is available and Indonesia is the second home for Australian tourists,” Anita Achmad said in a statement.

NTB would continue to promote its natural scenery, culture, traditions and culinary to attract tourists from Australia which is geographically relatively close from Lombok.

Lalu Moh Faozal, head of the NTB Tourism Office said the existing Perth-Lombok direct flight is crucial for the tourism industry in the province.

“Next, we will encourage opening of other direct flight routes to Australia to help achieve our target of attracting 4.5 million tourists in 2020,” he said.

NTB will intensify tourism promotion activities to lure more Australians who usually travel overseas at least once or twice a year.

The Lombok-Perth direct flight has helped increased the number of Australian tourists to NTB.

Mandalika in NTB is one of Indonesia’s tourism development priorities and is expected to become a world class destination.

In addition to Mandalika, other Indonesia’s 10 priority tourist destinations include Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Mount Bromo in East Java, Wakatobi national marine park in Southeast Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Morotai Island in North Maluku. Comprising Lombok and Sumbawa Islands, as well as hundreds of smaller ones, NTB Province is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches, forest-covered mountainous areas, and a distinct culture.

NTB is located not far from Bali and scenically no less beautiful than Bali. (yun)

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Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio., Jakarta – Tourist destinations need to be managed with a more creative approach to generate higher interest among visitors, the new Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio has said. After a handover ceremony with previous minister Arief Yahya in the ministry’s office in Jakarta, Wednesday (23/10/2019), Wishnutama said that tourism and the creative economy are the core of Indonesia moving forward and it should be managed with a more creative approach to generate more foreign exchange and gain visits from quality tourists.

“Aside from promotion and infrastructure, more creative abilities are needed to manage tourist attractions,” he said.

He then named several world-renowned destinations that have gained popularity because they were managed creatively, such as the Pasadena Flower Carnival in California, held on every January 2.

The festival is broadcast by television stations in more than 220 countries and became the seeded destination for the United States.

“We have a lot of Calendar of Events, and in the future, we will pick and choose, focus on a handful of them that have the most potential to attract tourists,” he said.

The joining of tourism and the creative economy is very appropriate, as both are at the core of Indonesia’s business, his predecessor Arief Yahya believed.

“President Jokowi often asked me what is in our DNA, and I said it is the creative economy, namely tourism and the creative industry,” he said.

Tourism marketing has generated its highest-ever total of US$19.3 billion in foreign exchange in 2018, and this year it is estimated to reach $20 billion, he further explained.

For the development of tourist destinations, Indonesia is focusing on five priority destinations namely Lake Toba, Borobudur, Labuan Bajo, Mandalika, and Likupang.

“President Jokowi has instructed that the construction of basic infrastructure and utilities at the five priority destinations need to be completed by 2020,” said Yahya.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) is targeted to be ranked in the 30s, or the same as Malaysian tourism. Indonesia’s competitive position is currently ranked 42 out of 136 countries, which is eight levels higher than the previous year.

Yahya hoped the tourism sector and the creative economy can be more advanced in the next five years, by generating more foreign exchange. “This year’s tourism is projected to generate foreign exchange of up to $20 billion. In the future it will be even greater,” he said.

The handover ceremony was attended by ministry officials and other invitees, including from tourist associations. Yahya wished goodbye to ministry employees and reporters before leaving. (ran)

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