The Jakarta Post
A beach in Sabang Island, Aceh. (Indonesia.travel/File)
After a successful tourism event in Yogyakarta last month, residents of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province traveled to Bali to take part in the 2017 Bali Arts Festival and Buleleng Expo that was held from May 17 to 21 in Singaraja, Bali.
“We are promoting Aceh as a halal tourist destination, or what is now called family-friendly,” said Aceh Tourism Agency head Reza Pahlevi.
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Members of the Cut Nyak Dhien Meuligo studio under the mentorship of Niazah A. Hamid traveled to Bali to showcase some of Aceh’s most famous traditional dances, such as the Prang Sabil and Saman dances.
The Saman Dance was recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It was also briefly featured in British band Coldplay’s Amazing Day Global Film Project video.
The Aceh Tourism Agency also set up a booth at the Buleleng Expo involving two travel agencies: Aceh Great Wall Tour and Asoe Nanggroe Wisata. The two of them sold tourist packages and local products such as coffee, traditional costumes and souvenirs.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that the halal tourism market has experienced growth since 2014. Of the estimated global population of 7.5 billion people, around 1.6 billion are Muslim and 60 percent of them are below 30 years old.
“The total spending of Muslim tourists in the world is US$143 billion, almost equal to the spending of Chinese tourists of $160 billion,” said Arief Yahya. (asw)