THE TOURISM Awareness socialization which took place at the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru (BTS) Priority Tourism Destinations, East Java was able to encourage the synergy of sustainable tourism development.

According to the Acting Deputy for Resources and Institutions of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Frans Teguh said that the strength of tourism is currently in rural areas, so the most basic and necessary thing in realizing quality tourism is excellent service standards as a host.

Frans said that the tourism activities offered must provide the best and unique and interesting experiences for tourists.

“Because tourism players certainly hope that tourists feel at home, comfortable, visit for a long duration and even come back,” said Frans.

In line with this, the Director of Human Resources Development for Tourism, Florida Pardosi again highlighted the high potential of tourist villages and believes that tourist villages have a strong attraction for tourists. Citing a study from a survey conducted by Grab, during the pandemic when tourism activities were hampered, visits to tourist villages rose by 30%.

“The ability of a tourist village is supported by a strong potential to become an attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists and it has been proven, it’s just a matter of how we prepare and improve so that our village becomes better, healthier, safer and more comfortable, friendly to nature, and can host tourists,” Florida said.

Florida also underlined the importance of passion, persistence and consistency of each party to respond to the challenges of the rise of sustainable tourism.

Inclusive citizen participation is also one of the concerns of this program supported by the World Bank, where socialization activities are directed to involve men and women in equal proportions.

At the opening of the Tourism Awareness Socialization at the Bromo Tengger Semeru Priority Tourism Destination, the Head of the Pasuruan Regency Tourism Office, Eka Wara Brehaspati said, tourism is not only the responsibility of the government, but all parties, including the community.

Eka invited all parties to support the sustainability of tourism development to be maintained. Likewise for the Tourism Awareness Campaign program which will run from 2022 to 2023.

“After 2023, how can we together, including local governments, community leaders, continue this synergy so that it continues,” Eka noted.

The Tourism Awareness socialization was held for two days, namely Tuesday and Wednesday (June 28-29) at the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru (BTS) Priority Tourism Destinations (BTS), to be precise in Pasuruan, Probolinggo and Lumajang Regencies, which lasted for two days.

The Tourism Awareness Campaign is a program initiated by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and supported by the World Bank and is designed to target tourism actors and residents in 65 tourist villages in 2022 and 90 tourist villages in 2023 in four Super Priority Destination areas, namely Lake Toba, Borobudur- Yogya-Prambanan, Mandalika, and Labuan Bajo, as well as 2 Priority Tourism Destinations Bromo-Tengger-Semeru and Wakatobi.

After a series of socializations, selected tourism actors will participate in further training related to the development of potential tourism products, homestays, culinary, souvenirs as well as entrepreneurship and business management. In the future, it is hoped that each village will produce local champions or drivers in tourism development in their respective tourist villages. [antaranews/photo special]