"In 2017, we will encourage all provinces to develop sports tourism. The sports tourism in the country has shown good development from year to year," Nahrawi said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is developing its sports tourism through the launch of running, biking and rock climbing events in tourism destinations, as part of its efforts to promote and advance its tourism sector.

According to Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, all of the 34 provinces in Indonesia are encouraged to organize sports events in tourism resorts for the development of sports tourism destinations.

The Youth and Sports Ministry will encourage all provinces in the country, apart from the 10 provinces being designed as primary tourist destinations, to organize sports events such as biking in tourism destinations from next year.

"In 2017, we will encourage all provinces to develop sports tourism. The sports tourism in the country has shown good development from year to year," Nahrawi said on Sunday (Nov 20).

For example, the provincial government of Central Java continues to organize the Borobudur Marathon event around areas of the Borobudur Buddhist Temple, which is also a main tourist destination in the country.

The minister appreciated the Central Java provincial government for its success in organizing the Bororbudur Marathon every year. This year, the marathon was attended by an extraordinary number of runners.

"This, of course, helps support the greatest mission of developing sports and industry tourism," Nahrawi said after launching the Borobudur Marathon 2016 at the Lumbini Square complex of the Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, on Sunday.

However, the Central Java government still needs to intensively promote the Borobudur Marathon abroad to attract more runners from foreign countries.

Besides the Borobudur Marathon, the Central Java government also organized various sports tourism events in other attractive destinations such as in Wonosobo, in Dieng, that could further advance Central Javas sports tourism.

In Dieng, in addition to the marathon, biking was also developed by organizing a Tour de Dieng.

In Batang District, the Central Java government also developed a rock climbing sports tourism event. In this case, the Batang District government is ready to put its sports tourism event on market, particularly rock climbing in the Prau Mountain slope of Bawang Sub-District.

According to Nasikhin, Regional Government Secretary of Batang District, the best place for rock climbing over the weekend is the cliff rock hills. "Tourists who are fond of sports can have a rock climbing, while enjoying the length of the cliffs and beauty of the local natural landscape," Nasihkin said.

The tourist destination is located at a height of 30 meters above the sea surface. It has a waterfall which supports the region as a tourism destination. Visitors will be pampered by the rock hill cliffs and the natural panorama of the Curug Si Pitung, the Curug Wanganwali, the Pancuran Poncowati and the camping site.

With its various potential tourism objects in the area of the Prau Gountain, the local government will transform the area into a main tourist destination apart from beach tourism. The trend of the natural tourism with mountainous panorama is now becoming a prime destination for the youths. Therefore, the local government of Batang is optimistic on the tourism objects in Mountain Prau. It is convinced that the area would become a main site for tourists to visit. Therefore, the local government will soon draw up a master plan for the development of the natural and sports tourism destination.

"We are optimistic that it will become a new and reputable tourism destination," Bambang Supriyanto, the head of Batangs Culture and Tourism Service, said.

In the meantime, the Central Executive of the Indonesian Sport Bikers Association (PB ISSI) will cooperate with the Tourism Ministry in carrying out its programs to help boost the countrys sports tourism.

"The Ministry of Tourism is committed to support our programs. Now, cycling is not only a matter of racing achievement but also a necessity to develop sports tourism," PB ISSI Chairman Raja Sapta Oktohari said in press statement in Jakarta on Monday last week (Nov 7).

Okto, as Raja Sapta Oktohari is popularly called, explained that his organization has discussed matters relating to implementation of cycling races that involved the Ministry of Tourism.

Currently, the PB ISSI is focusing on developing all kinds of cycling races such as road race, track, Bicycle Motor-Cross (BMX), cross country and downhill events. These events are focused not only to attain achievements in cycling but also to develop sports tourism.

With the cooperation of the tourism ministry, the ISSI hopes that everything could be carried out in a synergic manner. After all, the tourism ministry is the financial support of a number of cycling races both in national and international scale.

"Now, cycling races cover national and international scale events. We hope the tourism ministry will continue to provide supports or sponsors," said Okto.

Deputy for tourism marketing development of the Ministry of Tourism, Esthy Reko Atuti, hopes that cooperation with the PB ISSI would run smoothly, so that the development of sport tourism, particularly with regard to cycling events, would make further progress.

The Ministry of Tourism has three major tourism products which attract tourists, namely nature tourism, culture tourism and man-made (object) tourism. Sports tourism is part of the man-made tourism. Therefore, the tourism ministry hopes that its cooperation with the ISSI to handle technical would matter.

For cycling races, for example, the ministry hopes its technical matters would be handled by the ISSI, while the ministry will handle its destinations, promotions and branding to attract tourists.

The tourism ministry hopes it ISSI would also be involved in activity planning. The ministry has 10 main tourist destinations that have been given development priority. The planned organizing of the Tour dIndonesia 2017 was discussed in a meeting between the ministry and the PB ISSI officials.

"We hope that we can jointly promote Tour dIndonesia. We have the media, which could be used to expose the sport tourism programs," Esthy said.(*)

Reporter: Andi Abdussalam
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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