Kabupaten Pasaman (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno stated that the solar culmination celebration could drive and increase tourist visits to Pasaman, West Sumatra.

"The celebration of the solar culmination point as well as the commemoration of World Meteorological Day in Pasaman can increase tourist visits," he said during his visit to the district on Saturday.

Moreover, Uno remarked that various arts and cultural attractions owned by the people of Pasaman are increasingly attracting tourists to the area that is crossed by the equator line.

He stated that the opportunity for Pasaman to become a national destination is increasingly wide open, considering its existence as a Bonjol equatorial tourist area.

To create a superior destination, Uno said he directly instructed the West Sumatra Tourism Office to map tourist travel patterns in the area.

"The goal is that Pasaman District can contribute to the movement of Indonesian tourists amounting to 1.5 billion by 2024," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Deputy Governor of West Sumatra, Audy Joinaldy, stated that the existence of the Bonjol equatorial tourist area is a huge opportunity to increase tourism in Pasaman.

He urged the Pasaman government to propose the intellectual property rights of the "Land of the Equator" to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights before other regions proposed the same.

On the other hand, he admitted that currently, the number of tourist visits to Pasaman is still relatively low as compared to several other areas in the Minang region.

However, he believes that in the not-too-distant future, tourist visits to Pasaman will increase drastically if astrotourism, or astronomy tourism, is introduced and encouraged.

"This can be a learning place for students studying astronomy," he stated.

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