THE Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy encourages the Labuan Bajo destination to become the gateway for tourism in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

According to the Expert Staff for Sustainable Development and Conservation at the Ministry of Tourism, Flores has various potential tourist destinations that are potential to be used to advance the economy and improve community welfare. 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 really have to pay attention to the principle of sustainability,” Frans said.

He said, to realize the development of tourist destinations in a better direction in Flores, there needed 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 noted.

Meanwhile, the Head of Organization and Institutional Development Division of the Branch Manager of the Indonesian Travel Companies Association (ASITA) Manggarai Barat, 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 IDR50 billion to West Manggarai Regency’s local revenue (PAD) and created new jobs in the tourism sector,” Servasius pointed out.

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 believes that we are 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, organize traditional villages that have boxing attractions and all their supporters.

Application of sapta charm, maintaining cleanliness and environmental sustainability of traditional villages, and developing the use of residents’ houses as lodging to receive tourists by cooperating with PHRI (Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association).

Regarding the implementation of a health protocol based on Cleanliness, Health, and Environmental Sustainability (CHES) 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.

In addition, Shana also said that his 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 drafted to raise the overall tourism in NTT,” she concluded. []