The Jakarta Post
The rare blue fire at Ijen Crater, Banyuwangi, East Java. (Shutterstock/File)
Delegates from Banyuwangi regency, facilitated by the Foreign Ministry, introduced the area’s tourism potential to tourism businesses from the US.
Led by Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas, the delegates met with US Midwest Region Tourism Agency president Jesse Guerra, who also coordinates with tourism players from Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.
“Various tourism destinations were presented to the United States tourism business network. This is a great opportunity and we would like to express our gratitude to the Indonesian government, especially the Foreign Ministry, which always works to support Indonesian tourism promotion,” said Abdullah Azwar Anas in an official release, Sunday.
The Ijen Crater and its eternal blue flame, surfing paradise G-Land and popular windsurfing spot Tabuhan Island were among Banyuwangi’s tourism destinations highlighted in the meeting.
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“We also featured the red durian and Banyuwangi coffee,” said Anas. “Many of the attendees are curious about the durian, and they browsed information about it on their smartphones right away,” he added.
The Foreign Ministry also flew in a group of gandrung dancers from Banyuwangi to deliver a traditional dance performance during the event. Indonesian consulate general Rosmalawati Chalid was also in attendance.
Anas expressed optimism about Banyuwangi’s future in tourism, especially as access to the region was now easier. “Currently, in Russia, amid the World Cup craze, they have buses with pictures of the Ijen Crater and the gandrung dance. People from around the world will see the promotion. And now we are promoting in the US. This is all supported by the central government, we don’t use any of our regional budget. We hope this effort will increase the number of tourists visiting Banyuwangi,” he said.
“Our geographical closeness to Bali is an advantage. We also use this as a marketing strategy. Our target is to get seven percent of Bali’s four million international tourists to visit Banyuwangi. That’s already 280,000 tourists. We aim to get that number by the year 2021. Currently, we are at 100,000 international tourists per year in Banyuwangi. Of course there are those who go to Banyuwangi without passing Bali at all,” he added. (asw)