The central and provincial governments have jointly agreed to develop Mount Batur area as a major tourist attraction after UNESCO inscribed the volcano and its surrounding area to the Global Geoparks Network (GNN) last September.
Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that the governments would be focusing on three main targets: the implementation of conservation, education and income-generating efforts through developing community-based and ecotourism.
Mt. Batur is located in Kintamani resort area, which has been included as one of 16 strategic national development areas for extensive development in the next five years. Kintamani’s main focus will be on ecotourism.
“Mt. Batur area could be designated as a destination for historical and cultural tourism, as well as medical and wellness tourism. It has a unique history and culture that could attract tourists. The area also has natural hot springs that are yet to be developed. We can combine natural resources with traditional medicines. That would be great,” Mari said, adding that spa facilities could be added to the area.
Located around 60 kilometers north of Denpasar, Mt. Batur is an active volcano, the caldera of which covers an area of 10x13 kilometers that was formed between 23,500 and 28,500 years ago. During the 11th annual GNN meeting in Arouca Geopark in Portugal on Sept. 20, UNESCO issued a GNN certificate for Mt. Batur.
Mt. Batur is the 89th of UNESCO’s total 90 GNN members around the world, spread over 27 countries. Mt. Batur is the first geopark in Indonesia and the second in Southeast Asia, after Malaysia’s Langkawi.