The Jakarta Post
Thousands of people watch the first sunrise of 2017 appear at the peak of Borobudur temple in Central Java on Sunday morning. (JP/Tarko Sudiarno)
Borobudur International Festival (BIF) 2017 was officially opened on July 28 at Lumbini Park, Borobudur Temple, Central Java.
The opening event featured traditional dance performances as well as dance performances from other countries such as Japan, China and India.
Tourism ministry's archipelago marketing development deputy, Esthy Reko Astuti said that BIF is an event that is held on every four years aims to increase the number of tourist visits to Borobudur Temple.
“Borobudur Temple is an extraordinary tourist magnet in Indonesia. The ministry has committed that the biggest Buddhist temple in the world will be a destination that can bring in more tourists. The target is to have two million overseas tourists visiting Borobudur Temple in 2019,” said Esthy.
The event that ran from July 28 to 30 featured plenty of arts and cultural activities, seminar, human resource training, local products and culinary exhibitions.
“We hope that BIF can be held more frequently, make it into an annual or biannual event,” Esthy suggested.
Central Java governor Ganjar Pranowo welcome the suggestion of making BIF as an annual event. Ganjar said that the event positively contributes to the enhancement of Indonesian tourism, especially in Central Java.
“If this becomes an annual event, we’re going to prepare it really well, perhaps with a carnival, involving arts and culture and local products of Central Java,” said Ganjar.
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Tourism minister Arief Yahya said that BIF is a good platform to brand Borobudur Temple that has become the main attraction of Joglosemar.
Arief also mentioned that the ministry has come up with sub-brands for 10 destinations such as Joglosemar with Java Cultural Wonders, Colorful Medan, Wonderful Riau Islands, Enjoy Jakarta, Stunning Bandung, Majestic Banyuwangi, Island of the Gods for Bali, Friendly Lombok, Explore Makassar and Coral Wonders for Wakatobi – Bunaken – Raja Ampat.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan and Tourism Minister Arief Yahya recently launched the operation of the Borobudur Tourism Authority Board (BOP) that aims to turn the Buddhist temple into a national and international cultural destination that will attract 2,000,000 overseas tourists by the year 2019. (asw)