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100 Major Tourism Events for 2008

mini-mini-kuta-043.jpgTourism is virtually a mainstay for the economy of the major tourist islands in Indonesia, for instance Bali and Lombok. However, for the other islands in the archipelago it is to a lesser degree and this is unfortunate because these islands have fascinating culture and history that I would consider far more interesting than the main tourist islands. The Minister for Culture and Tourism plans to rectify this situation in 2008 by promoting 100 major events for the coming year of 2008.

However, it is not only the planned events that are inviting, each island has their own celebrations and festivals throughout the year. Here’s the article from the Jakarta Post:

greeting-dance-east-nusa-tenggarabmp.jpgAs part of the government’s efforts to reach its target of seven million foreign tourist visits in 2008, the Culture and Tourism Ministry plans to promote some 100 international events throughout the archipelago next year. According to the ministry, the international events will include cultural festivals, musical performances and sports events. The ministry’s director general for marketing, Thamrin B. Bachri, said that as a facilitator, the ministry would cooperate with local administrations to make the events a success.

“We will help the administrations to properly organize the events so that they will be worth seeing,” Thamrin said.

“In addition, the ministry will also help publicize the events both inside and outside the country,” he added.

According to the ministry, the international events will include cultural festivals, musical performances and sports events.

“For example, there will be a Tabot cultural and religious festival in Bengkulu, and we will try to attract as many as tourists as we can from Malaysia and Singapore as the primary markets as they are the closest to Bengkulu,” Thamrin said.

In addition to cultural events, he said, tourists would also be able to attend sporting events, such as the Indonesia Open golf tournament and Indonesian International Diving Adventure event, both in Jakarta, and the World Karting Championships in Sentul, Bogor.

Other events expected to support the success of Visit Indonesia Year 2008 are the Arak Tabuik festival in Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra, next August; Tourism Funday in Anyer, Banten, in February; Papua Cultural Festival in August; and the annual Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta in March.

“Basically, these events are held annually, so what we are doing now is further promoting them and packaging them better,” Thamrin said.

The soft launch of the Visit Indonesia Year 2008 campaign will take place Friday in the Balai Kartini, Jakarta, with a concert by top Indonesian performers, such as AB-Three, Edo Kondologit and Samsons.

The government will also conduct a public awareness drive as part of its efforts to highlight Indonesia’s friendliness.

The domestic campaign will involve encouraging people to smile at tourists and help them in a friendly way, as well as establishing tourist police units in major tourism spots, simplifying licensing procedures, and working together with travel agencies, hotels and airline offices so as to help ensure the success of the campaign.

As for overseas promotion, the government will advertise on international television channels, the Internet, and through Indonesia’s tourism offices abroad.

Visit Indonesia Year is not a program of the Culture and Tourism Ministry alone, it involves all stakeholders and all citizens. So, its success will require their participation,” Minister Wacik said.

Visit Indonesia Year 2008 will be officially launched by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Jan. 1. It is hoped that it will attract seven million foreign tourists to Indonesia’s shores and earn the country some US$6.4 billion.