The Jakarta Post
Tourism is one of the sectors the Banyuwangi regency government is pushing to thrive to help restore an economy hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of strategies have been prepared to meet the 2021 vision, spurred by optimism that the vaccination drive being prepared by the central government will run smoothly.
"We believe that the central government has prepared the best vaccinations for citizens, so that economic recovery can happen quickly next year," Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas said on Monday.
Banyuwangi will encourage tourism to become an instrument of economic recovery, along with agriculture and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), while continuing to improve cleanliness, health, safety and environment (CHSE) services.
"Even when vaccination is done, traveling should still be health oriented, meaning that tourism must be able to improve people’s physical and mental health. Banyuwangi has many advantages related to this," Anas said.
In the tourism sector, Banyuwangi continues to finalize the preparations for Ijen Crater and follows the UNESCO GGN (Global Geopark Network) assessment for the tourist destination to be included in the world geopark network.
"We are grateful for the support from the East Java provincial government and the central government in proposing Ijen, Indonesia's only tourist destination on the candidate list, to enter the world geopark network," he said.
. (Courtesy of Pemkab Banyuwangi/.)
Ijen Crater Natural Park is part of the Blambangan Nature Reserve, which also includes the Alas Purwo National Park, which has been designated by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Banyuwangi has also filled out a Climate Change Report. An assessment by UK-based independent global organization Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has given Banyuwangi a C score as a region considered to have climate change awareness, to understand climate change mitigation and adaptation issues. The score puts Banyuwangi on par with several other cities in Southeast Asia and the world.
"The status toward a world geopark, a world biosphere reserve, and the submission of the Climate Change Report strengthen Banyuwangi's position on the tourist destinations map of the country, because the post-vaccination CHSE is not just a health protocol, but it is also about creating added value by maintaining clean air, natural charm and cultural wealth,” he said.
Banyuwangi also spurs outdoor activities as healthy tourism for which Banyuwagi has tremendous potential, with several tour operators offering open-air excursions.
"Tour operators can make healthy outdoor tour packages, such as combining traditional therapy, activities in the national park or Ijen Crater and consumption of healthy food," Anas said.
He pointed out that future tourism development should still be oriented toward benefiting local communities.
“Outdoor tourism can be combined with local arts and culture. We present local art performances by local people,” the regent said.