THE Tourism Ministry & Creative Economy expressed readiness to encourage and realize the Old City in Semarang, Central Java, as a creative hub as directed by President Joko Widodo.

During a working visit to Semarang, Central Java recently accompanying President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio stressed the importance of developing a creative economy industry that is unique in each destination, including the Old City Region destinations Semarang, Central Java.

“Each destination has a different creative industry to develop. In Labuan Bajo, for example we have a ‘creative hub’ whose task is to find the potential of the creative industry. Each region is different, so does the Old City. That’s where the creative economy functions to look for potential and differentiation, “Wishnutama said.

Wishnutama explained again the presence of tourism and creative industries in an area capable of giving lives to existing infrastructure. Potential tourism can be an economic value through efforts to improve the quality of souvenirs, music, photography, culinary, or performing art so that it can bring prosperity for creative economic actors.

While President Joko Widodo suggested that the Old City of Semarang, besides being filled with arts and cultural activities, was also filled with activities that could lift the people’s economy. Daily activities must be filled with cultural arts activities and restaurants are also turned on so as to lift the economic growth of Central Java.

Emphasizing the importance of developing creative industries in the Old City Region of Semarang, Central Java, this is also in line with the efforts of the city government to revive and propose the region as UNESCO World Heritage.

UNESCO World Heritage is a program from the United Nations that serves to preserve and maintain the cultural and natural heritage sites that are found in various countries in the world.

Mweanwhile, the Mayor of Semarang, Hendrar Prihadi, hopes that the Old City will become one of the cultural heritages recorded in UNESCO data in 2021. It is still in the preparation of dossiers and the trial will take place in 2020. If it goes smoothly, the determination will be in 2021.

Currently the Semarang Old City which stretches across 22 hectares of land is already using paving blocks and has a barrier. Then it is also equipped with utility networks in the form of electric cables, optical fiber, telephones, underground PDAM pipes, drainage networks, and the construction of two retention ponds (Berok Pond and Bubakan) to reduce the risk of inundation.

The Semarang Old Town area is also planned to be free from motorized vehicles in the future. There are now three golfcart units that tourists can use to get around the area.

Previously the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo hoped that the Semarang Old Town Area could become a creative hub for Central Java.

This was conveyed by the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo during his working visit today. “Semarang Old City has been done for 2 years and takes a budget of Rp170 billion, now it is ready. The most important thing is that there are good activities and contents especially related to the creative economy and creative industries in the cities of Semarang and Central Java in general. the future can become a Creative Hub for Central Java,” said the President.

“Semarang’s Old City has been restored well, it can become a new icon of Semarang and Central Java to attract tourists,” he continued.

Accompanied by Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio, together with Minister of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, and Semarang Mayor Hendrar Prihadi, the President visited several icons in the tourist area. The icons visited included Semarang Creative Gallery, Root House, Oudetrap Building, and UKM Centers. []