The Jakarta Post
Waiting for the sun to rise: People wait for the first sunrise to mark the new year of 2017 on top of the Borobudur temple in Central Java. One of Indonesia’s greatest tourist attractions, the temple was named by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1991. (The Jakarta Post/Tarko Sudiarno)
The provincial administration of Central Java has set a target of attracting 1.2 million foreign visitors in 2019, as reported by Kompas.com.
The head of Central Java’s Youth, Sports and Tourism Office (Disporapar), Sinung Nugroho, said he is optimistic about reaching the target as the area has a number of attractions and activities on its tourism agenda. Aside from aiming for a high number of foreign visitors, the provincial administration also wants to attract 40 million Indonesians to visit.
“We are optimistic that the target could be reached. We prepared events on the regency and city levels and provincially and nationally,” said Sinung to Kompas.com on Wednesday.
The relatively high target was set despite the decreasing number of visitors in 2018. According to Disporapar’s data, there were 677,168 foreign visitors in 2018, 13.37 percent fewer than the 781,107 in 2017.
Meanwhile, the number of Indonesian visitors in 2018 went up to 49,762,787 from the 40,118,470 in 2017. Sinung explains that the decrease of foreign visitors was caused by many things, including several disasters, the renovation of many tourist destinations and international flights being unable to use the airport in Surakarta.
“There are usually many international events held in Yogyakarta, but not last year. This cancellation of events had an impact on Central Java,” said Sinung.
In order to attract more visitors, a tourism agenda was launched. It had items divided into three categories: 17 in the social symbol and rites category, eight in the ceremonial festivals category and 45 in the Central Java cultural diversity festival category.
Some agenda items include the Festival Kota Lama (Old Town Festival) on May 4 and 5, the Borobudur International Arts and Performances Festival from July 6 to 8, the Dieng Culture Festival from Aug. 2 to 4, the Cheng Ho Festival in August, the Festival Payung Indonesia (Indonesia Umbrella Festival) in September, the Solo International Performing Arts from Sept. 6 to 8 and the Borobudur Marathon in November. (mut)