IO, West Manggarai – The 2019 Florata Tourism Exhibition and Art and Culture Festival officially inaugurated on Tuesday (30/07/2019) night. The event will be held at Kampung UjungSquare, Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara until 2 August 2019.
The Flores cultural heritage is lovingly expressed in the opening ceremony. The highlight of the ceremony is the entry procession of the participants, i.e. from the Regencies of West Manggarai, Manggarai, East Manggarai, Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende, Sikka, East Flores, and Lembata, and from the Timor Leste Media Familiarization Trip & TA/TO. Four elders from West Manggarai performed a traditional welcome by bringing bottles of the Flores regional beverages and a live white hen and giving them to the participants’ representatives.
The Florata Florata Tourism Exhibition and Art and Culture Festival is an annual event in the Flores-Lembata-East Nusa Tenggara region. It is held in order to preserve the cultural values and traditions in these regions. West Manggarai’s Vice Regent Maria Geong stated that the event is a means to promote and preserve their local arts and traditions, especially those of Labuan Bajo. “This event is a means for us to promote our art and culture, and naturally, to increase the number of visiting tourists. We want more visitors, both domestic and foreign,” she said. “Using the Florata FlorataTourism Exhibition and Art and Culture Festival, we are also improving East Nusa Tenggara’s art and culture. We are encouraging our creativity and opening up market for ourselves. We are empowering our people by promoting and enriching our own regional art and culture.”
Maria Geong further stated that the Florata Florata Tourism Exhibition and Art and Culture Festival gives Labuan Bajomore and more attractions each year. “We are holding two big events in July 2019. The first one is the Presidential Cup international boxing tournament, while the second is the Florata Art and Culture Festival. These will entertain and attract more tourists,” she said.
The Ministry of Tourism’s Head of Area II Marketing Division and Assistant Deputy of Marketing I for Region III, Hendry Noviardi, hopes that the event can appeal to both local residents and tourists. “We want everyone to enjoy the event and simply have fun. The Florata Art and Culture Festival is exciting – it has many items in the agenda and it is open for everybody,” he said.
The Ministry of Tourism’s Assistant Deputy of Marketing Development I for Region III, Muh. Ricky Fauziyani, stated that the tourism exhibition in Labuan Bajo will help strengthen our national tourism branding, “Wonderful Indonesia.” “This is because the event promotes the priority tourism destinations of Labuan Bajo–Flores. Therefore, we involve the industries in the area. They will help offer and manage various destinations in the regions, including activities such as diving,” he said.
On the other hand, Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya expectsthat the Tourism Exhibition in Labuan Bajo will bring many positive effects for the people, especially in the local economy. “A good event is one that generates a positive impact on people, especially in terms of the economy. The Tourism Exhibition in Labuan Bajo has such a potential. I only hope that we all can optimize these events even better, so that more of our people benefit,” he said. (yoga, dsy)