The Jakarta Post
The Baiturrahman Grand Mosque stands tall in Banda Aceh, Aceh province. (JP/ PJ Leo)
Aceh provincial administration has prepared more than 100 natural and cultural tourist attractions to lure visitors throughout 2018.
"We are targeting to attract 4 million and 100,000 domestic and foreign tourists, respectively, this year," said Aceh Deputy Governor Nova Iriansyah in Jakarta on Monday as quoted by kompas.com, adding that the attractions would highlight the preservation of Aceh cultural and Islamic values.
Among the events prepared are the Aceh International Marathon, Gayo Alas Mountain International Festival, Tour de Leuser, Aceh International Freediving, Aceh Surfing Championship, Aceh Culinary Festival and Aceh International Rapa’i Festival, which is a percussion music attraction from the Middle East brought by Islamic poet Syech Rapa'i.
Regarding Aceh as a destination, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Malaysian tourists served as a potential market for the region during the holy month of Ramadhan due to its strategic location and position as a halal destination in the archipelago
"Aceh is a very interesting destination during Ramadhan. Its position is more strategic than Lombok," Arief said.
Other than Aceh, Arief said that Indonesia has two other halal destinations, namely West Nusa Tenggara and West Sumatra.
"Lately many Malaysian tourists chose to visit West Nusa Tenggara to enjoy the Ramadhan atmosphere there. [...] I think that Aceh can offer [similar attraction] to the tourists," added Arief. (kes)