Male dancers perform the Saman dance. (JP/Hotli Simanjuntak)
The Tourism Ministry is promoting Indonesian tourism and culture at the Europalia Arts Festival Indonesia 2017 in Belgium that runs from Oct. 10 until Jan. 21, 2018.
“Europalia is more into promoting culture, which includes tourism products,” said the ministry's deputy minister for overseas promotion I Gde Pitana.
“Throughout the partnership between the government of Belgium and the Indonesian government, this event has been officiated and kicked off in Brussels. It will run for 104 days,” added Pitana.
The bi-annual event involves more than 486 artists and historians from Indonesia and offers 226 programs in several cities in Belgium and other six European countries, namely United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France and Poland.
Several artifacts made of wood, bronze, gold, silver and stone from North Sumatra, South Sulawesi, Java, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Maluku and Papua are being presented in the festival.
There are also performances of traditional dances such as Nani Topeng Losari, Suara Papua and Saman Gayo Lues dances.
In 2016, Indonesia welcomed up to 1,644,827 European tourists. For this year, up until June there were already 818,113 European tourists coming into the country with a growth rate of 17 percent. Around 60 to 65 percent of them were interested in culture and nature while the rest were more into sport activities.
This year, the ministry is targeting to attract at least two million foreign tourists. (kes)