THE Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy encourages the strengthening of local wisdom and traditions as an effort to develop the Super priority destinations of Likupang and North Sulawesi in general as an attraction for tourists.

According to the Director of Regional Destination Development II Deputy for the Development of Destinations and Infrastructure of the Ministry of Tourism, Wawan Gunawan said local wisdom and traditions were important to promote the existing tourism potential.

“Likupang Rebound is a mentoring program from the Tourism Ministry to build destinations that are ready to be visited and enjoyed by tourists as well as building motivation for tourism operators and managers in North Sulawesi, specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He added, use local wisdom and local content in North Sulawesi as a main core to visit. For example, have not been to Manado if you have not eaten Manado porridge. By strengthening existing local wisdom, the local government can form the forms of attractions and potential into an integrated tour package.

“So there will be a component of natural, marine, artificial tourism, and can accommodate the creative economy, culinary industry and raise the value of local wisdom from North Sulawesi,” he said.

Meanwhile the Head of the North Sulawesi Provincial Tourism Office, Henry Kaitjily, said, the North Sulawesi Tourism Office continued to explore and prepare the Likupang Region as a super priority tourist destination. Indeed, Likupang has great beauty potential that must be worked on. We hope that in the next few months there will be developments and we will continue to update the central government.

Regarding tourism conditions in North Sulawesi, Henry said that, like other regions, tourism and the creative economy are the most affected sectors of COVID-19. In the city of Manado there were 3,600 tourism workers and the creative economy affected.

Likewise with other areas in North Sulawesi where tourist visits dropped dramatically. The condition is then utilized by workers and tourism businesses and the creative economy to prepare the destination again so that tourists can be visited safely and comfortably during the adaptation of new habits.

“We are ready regarding the plan to reopen tourism destinations in North Sulawesi,” Henry finished.

It is known, Likupang is one of five Super Priority Destinations that are being accelerated and maximized tourism development. Besides Likupang, there are four other priority Super Destinations, namely Lake Toba, Borobudur, Mandalika, and Labuan Bajo. []