Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy encourages Labuan Bajo to become NTT tourism gateway

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(Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – The ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism and Creative Economy Agency is pushing Labuan Bajo to become the gateway for tourism in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). 

The Expert Staff for Sustainable Development and Conservation of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, Frans Teguh, Saturday (29/8/2020), stated that Flores has various potential tourist destinations to advance the economy and improve the welfare of the community. This potential was proven by the selection of Labuan Bajo as one of the five Super Priority Destinations (DSP). 

“NTT has tremendous appeal in terms of tourism. Our challenge now is how to transform these potentials into superior quality products so that we have to pay attention to the principle of sustainability,” said Frans. 

He previously attended and spoke at the Webinar “Flores NTT Tourism Management Towards an Era of Adaptation to New Habits”, Friday (28/8/2020). 

To realize the development of tourist destinations in a better direction in Flores, Frans said there needs to be intensive collaboration and communication between various parties. Thus, the tourism sector can be a driving force for the economy to improve the welfare of the people of NTT. 

“Through intensive collaboration and communication, I believe we can manage NTT tourism more seriously and raise the confidence of tourists to visit NTT, especially to the island of Flores,” he said. 

This was agreed by the Head of the Organizational and Institutional Development Division of the Branch Management of the Indonesian Travel Companies Association (ASITA) West Manggarai, Servasius Irwan Budi Setiawan. According to Servasius, based on data on tourist arrivals to NTT in 2019, there were 137,740 foreign tourists and 210,770 domestic tourists who came to Flores from Labuan Bajo. 

“From Labuan Bajo, tourists then visit the Komodo National Park, which is known as a UNESCO world heritage site. Komodo National Park in 2019 contributed IDR 50 billion to West Manggarai Regency’s local revenue (PAD) and created new jobs in the tourism sector,” Servasius conveyed. 

On the same occasion, the Regent of Nagekeo, Johannes Don Bosco Do, added that entering from Labuan Bajo, tourists can enjoy various interesting natural and cultural tourism attractions in various areas on the island of Flores. One of them is the traditional boxing tradition or Etu which is held every year in 31 traditional villages in Nagekeo. 

For this reason, Johannes said that his party is currently trying to fix the tourism potential in Nagekeo, including in the infrastructure and human resources sectors. 

“The Nagekeo Regency Government, especially the Tourism Office, assisted by other agencies, organizes traditional villages that have boxing attractions and all their supporters. The application of Sapta charm, maintaining the cleanliness and environmental sustainability of traditional villages, and developing the use of people’s houses as an accommodation to receive tourists by cooperating with PHRI (Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association),” said Johannes. 

Regarding the implementation of the CHSE-based health protocol (Cleanliness, Health, and Environmental Sustainability) in the Labuan Bajo DSP area and its surroundings, the Managing Director of the Labuan Bajo Flores Tourism Authority (BOP), Shana Fatina, said that almost all tourist destinations in its coordinated areas have implemented this. “The health protocol has been implemented in Labuan Bajo and its surroundings,” said Shana. 

Besides, Shana also said that her party is currently preparing a travel pattern for tourists who come to visit Labuan Bajo. So that later the tourists who come can spread out to visit various tourist destinations on the island of Flores. 

“BOP Labuan Bajo does not only talk about the development of Labuan Bajo but also the surrounding (tourist destinations). So later there will be a travel pattern that is being developed to raise the overall tourism in NTT, “ she continued. 

Head of the NTT Province Tourism and Creative Economy Office, Wayan Darmawa, expressed his hope that in the future NTT, especially Flores, can carry tourism as one of the motors driving the regional economy in the era of adapting new habits after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“With the determination of Labuan Bajo as a Super Priority Destination area, we hope that this can improve the tourism sector in NTT, especially in Flores, together with the improvement of the welfare of the community around tourist destinations,” Wayan expressed.