The Jakarta Post
A panoramic view of a valley with Mount Tambora looming in the background. (Shutterstock/File)
The 2018 Pesona Tambora Festival (FPT), which is being held on Wednesday at the Savana Doro Ncanga savanna area at the foot of Mount Tambora, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), involves the promotion of the mountain's beauty and tourism potential as the "Africa of Sumbawa".
"This is the fourth FPT and each year has always been a trending topic. This year it is expected to be able to promote Tambora and the island of Sumba to the global community," said the Tourism Ministry's multicultural expert staff Esthy Reko Astuti during the festival opening.
Esthy said tourism development in NTB continued to increase every year. The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Mandalika in Lombok has also become one of the country's 10 priority international tourist destinations.
Events like the FPT, said Esthy, had to be conducted frequently to promote NTB through the three keys to successful tourism promotion, namely amenity readiness, accessibility and man-made attractions.
"Nationally we are aiming to attract 20 million foreign tourists in 2019; for this year the target is 17 million. We are optimistic that we can reach this target; NTB itself will contribute up to 4 million [foreign visitors] this year."
Several dancers perform Tambora traditional dances during the Pesona Tambora Festival on April 11, at Doro Ncanga savanna in Dompu regency, West Nusa Tenggara. (JP/Panca Nugraha)
Dompu Regent Bambang M. Yasin told The Jakarta Post that the festival had a positive effect on the development of Dompu, especially in tourism.
He said the Tambora Challenge across Sumbawa 320K, which attracted 47 extreme marathon runners, had become the icon of tough sports tourism in Asia. Starting from West Sumbawa regency and finishing in Doro Ncanga, over a 320-kilometer distance, it is similar to traversing from Yogyakarta to Surabaya in East Java.
"Tambora Challenge 320K is the longest marathon in Asia; it only exists on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. It has also become our icon," said Bambang, adding that the region also offered savanna views, the challenging activity of climbing Mt. Tambora, a long stretch of gorgeous beach and unique local culture.
The peak of the 2018 FPT features dances, a skydiving exhibition by the Navy as well as entertainment from singer Anang Hermansyah, Ashanty and their daughter Aurel.
The festival has already held a series of events since April 4, opening with the Tambora Challenge 320K in West Sumbawa.
NTB Tourism Agency head Lalu Mohamad Faozal said at least 28 events were prepared for the 2018 FPT, spread across five regencies and cities on Sumbawa Island, namely the regencies of West Sumbawa, Sumbawa, Dompu and Bima, and the city of Bima.
"This has been an incredible year. Other than the fact that we have been included in the national event and have received support from the Tourism Ministry's budget, our activities have also spread thanks to the active participation of all regional administrations on Sumbawa Island. There is optimism that Sumbawa's tourism potential can keep growing with the good synergy between regional administration, provincial administration and the government," he added. (kes)