MINISTER of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio assessed Banyuwangi as an example of a successful district in developing various tourism events. For this reason, Banyuwangi is considered to be an example of other districts in Indonesia to package a local event so that it can attract wider public attention.

Minister Wishnutama during the launch of the Calender of Event (CoE) with the theme of Majestic Banyuwangi Festival with Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas at the Soesilo Sudarman Hall, recently appreciated the Banyuwangi regency’s creative ideas to hold many events.

This facilitates the role of the central government to encourage other regions to replicate this success. Because tourism events that are seriously packaged will have a significant impact on society, including increasing foreign exchange for the country.

“I really appreciate the steps in developing tourism in Banyuwangi. Actually it facilitates our task to convince other regions that tourism and the creative economy can make the community much more prosperous and of course make tourism as the second largest foreign exchange earner in Indonesia. But if we have districts like Banyuwangi, God willing, in the near future foreign exchange tourism can be number one,” he said.

Wishnutama also told about his experience when he was just appointed as Minister of Tourism by President Joko Widodo. Many questions addressed to him how the impact of tourism and the creative economy when combined.

“I always give one example, if tourism and the creative economy when combined, can collaborate well, support each other for example Banyuwangi. Indeed, this is evidence that if tourism is supported by our ability to think and create can have an extraordinary impact,” he said.

Minister Wishnutama also explained that there were still many who pouted and underestimated the implementation of the event. However, looking back at the holding of the 2018 Asian Games could be a spirit of capital that proves that Indonesia is capable of holding international-standard events.

“If we think back, see the opening of the 2018 Asian Games which previously many are ‘under estimated’. But when the event turned out to amaze the eyes of the world, all Indonesian people were so proud, in 2-3 hours the Indonesian people united but after that it was ‘busy’ again and it was normal. But at least we have pride. And that’s what Banyuwangi has done so far,” Wishnutama said.

Wishnutama also hopes that events in Banyuwangi can be better, if it is packaged to be more perfect. One idea was also thrown by the Tourism Ministry so that Banyuwangi has a very spectacular event that could bring more tourists to Banyuwangi.

“If at present the government has a super priority destination. We can also make spectacular events. Hopefully Banyuwangi can be an example from local to global that I hope for the future, hopefully more success and inspire us all,” he said.

On the same occasion, Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas also explained, throughout 2020 Banyuwangi will hold 123 tourist agendas. This number increased from the previous year of 99 events. This is an effort to promote and increase tourist visits to the district nicknamed ‘Sunrise of Java’.

“Festival for Banyuwangi is not only a part of tourism but also an instrument to move many people. Instrument to move the bureaucracy in the middle of a growing sectoral ego barrier,” he said.

He also explained, from the many events held in Banyuwangi it appeared to affect the increase in income per capita of the community. While on the community side, tourism has proven to have a positive economic impact. In 2010, the annual income per capita of Banyuwangi residents was only Rp20 million. In 2018, the figure increased dramatically to Rp48 million.

In 2012 the new Banyuwangi Festival has 10 events, increased in 2013 to 15 events, 2014 with 23 events, 2015 (36 events), 2017 (72 events), 2018 (77 events), in 2019 increased to 99 events, and in 2020 there were 123 events.

A number of new attractions will also be present to enliven this 2020, including coffee attractions in a number of coffee-producing centers, no longer centered at the Indigenous Village of Kemiren as the previous year but this year there is in the Kalibiru plantation which is a coffee center that routinely exports thousands of tons of coffee to Italy and other countries in Europe.

Anas explained, Banyuwangi will hold 15 culinary festivals that are able to lift the community food stalls and home culinary businesses. In addition there are also 15 sport tourism events such as the Banyuwangi International Geopark Walk and the World Surf League.

Banyuwangi Festival 2020 will present 15 culinary festivals, including Chocolate Food Festival, Muncar Food Festival, Bamboo Food Festival, Alaspurwo Food Festival, Cacalan Beach Food Festival, Marina Food Festival, Osing Food Festival, and Millennials Food Festival.

A number of attractions that have been successfully attracting tourists have also been re-presented, such as the Beach Jazz, Jazz Ijen, and the Gandrung Sewu Festival. []