INDONESIA’S Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Wishnutama Kusubandio suggested that the Tourism Village Assistance program in collaboration with universities throughout Indonesia be able to explore and raise the potential of local natural resources and local culture.

“Through this Tourism Village Assistance, he hopes that village economic activities can be more stretched and have increased benefits, especially for parekraf actors and village communities. Moreover, at this time we must strive to revive the tourism sector and Indonesia’s creative economy, which was affected by the pandemic. Through this tourism village assistance, we have big aspirations so that economic activity can grow after the pandemic,” he said.

Wishnutama explained, the Ministry of Tourism has implemented a tourism restoration strategy, namely from tourism based on quantity to quality tourism. After the pandemic, he became increasingly convinced that quality tourism was the future of Indonesia’s tourism sector. Quality tourism is a tourism concept that provides a different, unique, and non-existent experience in its original place.

“In the future, tourists will tend to choose to have a vacation to a place that is quality, unique, safe from COVID-19, and committed to implementing the Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability (CHSE) protocol. I see we already have great power to provide authentic experiences to tourists, namely through tourist villages,” he noted.

At the end of 2018, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded 1,734 tourist villages out of a total of 83,931 villages spread across Indonesia. At the international level, a number of tourist villages in Indonesia have also received recognition. In 2019, there were four tourist villages that were included in the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations in the World by Global Green Destinations Days (GGDD), namely Nglanggeran Village in Gunungkidul Regency (DIY), Pentingsari Village in Sleman Regency (DIY), Pemuteran Village in Buleleng Regency (Bali ), and Penglipuran Traditional Village in Bangli Regency (Bali).

“The Ministry of Tourism has set a target of 205 Independent Tourism Villages by 2024. This program certainly requires intensive cooperation between the central government, local governments, universities, industry and rural communities,” he affirmed.

He stated, I really hope that the development program can continue to be carried out consistently. This tourist village will become a new face, a fresh face, from tourism and Indonesia’s creative economy. []