IN ADDITION to being the opening event to re-promote tourism after 2 years of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Semarang Regency Tourism Office, Central Java, carries the mission of the Gedong Songo Festival to mobilize the millennial generation to love art and culture which is felt to be eroding by the development of the digital era.

According to Dewi Pramuningsih, the Head of the Semarang Regency Tourism Office, while attending the celebration of the Jakarta Crew Media Association (HAM) anniversary at Kampoeng Kopi Banaran on Tuesday (11/23) stated that the Gedong Songo Festival was used as a momentum to revive Semarang Regency tourism.

“Semarang Regency’s tourism condition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, was very bad. The Gedong Songo Festival, which will take place from 23-24 November 2021, is a strategic step to revive our regional tourism promotion,” she said.

Prior to the pandemic, continued Dewi, the festival which entered its fourth year every year experienced a significant increase in the number of tourist visits. In the last three years, the Gedong Songo Festival has increased by between 30-40%. This time the event will definitely decrease compared to previous years.

She explained, moreover, Semarang Regency is currently at level 1 starting in November, then this event became the first trial during the pandemic, many of which were limited from the number of participants, and tourists as per the health protocol rules set by the government.

“We have not dared to open all the destinations. If the test is on-off or open-close. When we are in a rather dangerous position, we turn off or close. This festival is also an effort to introduce tourism to the public so that they are not afraid to travel because we provide trust by means of healthy and safe travel,” Dewi Pramuningsih added.

Every tourist who visits the Gedong Songo area, must comply with health protocols, then must download or download an application to protect and care, and so on.

Adjusting to the pandemic conditions, the number of participants who fill out artistic and cultural attractions is also limited. The first day there were 3-4 sub-districts, the rest on the second day. At this time can not display art all have to take turns.

“Actually, we want to display all the arts and local wisdom in Semarang Regency to the community, especially the younger generation so that they love cultural arts,” she remarked.

She also admitted that it was difficult and limited space for movement because during the pandemic he could not hold events at all. For this reason, this year the Semarang Regency Tourism Office has no additional events, all of which are held virtually. []