MINISTRY of Youth and Sports will begin to seriously develop sports tourism in the next year or 2021 as one of the spearheads of attracting foreign tourists and increasing the country’s foreign exchange.

According to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Zainudin Amali said we are trying to restart our tourism, especially sports tourism. The potential is extraordinary but because of the current pandemic everything has stopped. One of the seriousness of the government in encouraging sports tourism is to put it on the big commemoration agenda on National Sports Day in 2021.

“But to develop the ecosystem, the Ministry of Youth and Sports cannot run alone, because the development between sports and tourism involves other ministries that intersect,” he said.

He added, I gave an example when I was going to develop sport tourism in the field of water sports such as sails, jetski, and surfing, I had to coordinate with the Maritime and Investment Coordinating Ministry, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

As the output, the government can make a package for tourists who are interested in trying out the sport tourism offered. With this package, tourists can spend quite a long time in Indonesia and of course it is accompanied by spending quite a bit of money.

“Other countries have a lot to encourage sports tourism and foreign exchange is expected from there. There is much we can package and encourage them (tourists) to linger here,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Deputy for Sport Culture Ministry of Youth and Sports Raden Isnanta said that currently other countries are competing to hold a sport tourism event, the goal of attracting tourists to come to their country. So Indonesia, which has a variety of tourist destinations, must make the most of it by holding international events.

“For sports challenges and adventure there are opportunities, too, the fact is diving, jetski, rowing. Windsurfing, cross-country running if open tournaments are held for 30 countries to come, because it proves that recreation and sports are integrated. So the tourism potential is high,” he said.

On the one hand, he also said that sports that succeeded in promoting Indonesian names such as rock climbing, jetski, triathlon, surfing, rowing, and paragliding indirectly made outsiders curious about Indonesia. This condition must be maximized by Indonesia holding various championships.

“Now we have to multiply international events so that foreign tourists come. Then to add more tourists, friends at the event organizer have to package it like a sort of choreo entertain,” he finished. [antaranewsphoto special]