Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Tens of thousands of tourists have visited numerous tourist attractions in Gunung Kidul District, the Yogyakarta Special Region, during the 2017 Eid al-Fitr or Lebaran holiday season.

Gunung Kidul has several natural tourist attractions, such as the Ngrancah waterfall in Ngleri Village, along with the pristine beaches of Gesing, Ngrenehan, Ngobaran, and Baron, in addition to Krakal, Sunduk, Watu Lawang, Drini, and Sepanjang.

Until the second day of the Lebaran holidays on Monday, a total of 39,554 tourists had visited these tourist attractions, and the number is forecast to steadily increase in the next few days, according to Gunung Kidul Tourism Office spokesman Hary Sukmono

He explained that based on reports received from several tourist attractions, the total revenue generated from 39,554 tourists visiting the areas until Monday amounted to Rp305,614 million.

The number of tourists on Monday was less than that recorded during the Easter holidays on April 14-16, 2017, when 47 thousand local and foreign tourists had visited the tourist attractions in Gunung Kidul.

The total revenue generated from 47 thousand tourists visiting the tourism attractions in Gunung Kidul during the last Easter holidays amounted to Rp411 million, or exceeded the target of Rp400 million.

The long Easter holidays in April this year had contributed to an increase in the number of visitors to Gunung Kidul to explore the various scenic beaches, caves, scenery, and waterfalls in the district.

Sukmono expressed hope that the same trend would recur during the week-long Lebaran holidays this year, with the number of visitors being much more.

With a much larger number of tourists in the days to come, he is optimistic that the targeted revenue of Rp24 billion this year would be achieved.

"We are optimistic that the targeted revenue of Rp24 billion generated from tourists this year would be achieved," Sukmono affirmed.

Hence, he noted that the Gunung Kidul Tourism Office will continue to improve the quality of tourism by increasing the supporting facilities and infrastructure for the convenience of the tourists.

In the meantime, Yogyakarta Tourism Office Chief Aris Riyanta remarked recently that Gunung Kidul not only has natural beauty, in terms of beaches, but also has the scenic Sewu mountain region where several caves and an underground river are found.

Riyanta revealed that several tourist destinations in Gunung Kidul that may be visited by many tourists during the Lebaran holidays are the beaches of Ngobaran, Baron, and Nglambor as well as Pindul Cave and "Kali Suci," or a holy river.

To boost the number of tourist arrivals in 2017, tourism icons in Gunung Kidul are being further beautified.

Hoping to attract more local and foreign tourists this year, the government of Gunung Kidul District will continue to encourage tourism development by building several parks and statues at the corner of every street.

In addition, garden ornaments, such as statues and fountains, will be built at every corner of the street in Gunung Kidul similar to the one in Putat Village to increase tourist visits.

In a park at the Yogyakarta-Wonosari junction in Putat Village, the Gunung Kidul Environment Office has erected a statue of a dancing man wearing a "pentul" mask at a budget of Rp93 million.

Local Environment Office spokesman Irawan Djatmiko remarked in Gunung Kidul that the construction of the statue will be completed before the Eid al-Fitr holiday this year, so that holidaymakers and tourists can enjoy its view.

The "pentul" mask, worn on the statue of a dancing man, is part of the culture and symbolizes "abdi dalem," the loyal servant, in Gunung Kidul.

Djatmiko noted that the four-meter-tall statue in the park at the Yogyakarta-Wonosari junction was expected to add to the glory of the entry gate of Gunung Kidul from the west side.

In collaboration with the local Environment Office, the Gunung Kidul Culture and Tourism Office will later build more parks and statues, including a park, with a statue of a beach volleyball athlete at the Sepanjang Beach using a budget of Rp400 million.

In the meantime, Gunung Kidul Culture and Tourism Office spokesman Hary Sukmono pointed out that several tourist attractions will continue to be enhanced, so that the tourists visiting Gunung Kidul can feel at home and happy to stay longer.

Sukmono expressed hope that during the 2017 Lebaran holidays, the number of tourists visiting Gunung Kidul would surpass that of the previous year.

In the week during the 2016 Lebaran holidays, around 250 thousand tourists had visited numerous tourist attractions in Gunung Kidul District, according to Sukmono.

Gunung Kidul is blessed with several natural, marine, and cultural attractions that continue to attract tourists from around the world.

Hence, the local government is making all-out efforts to develop the district into a leading tourist destination by preparing a coastal tourism master plan.

The coastal tourism master plan, expected to be completed in 2017, will be used for managing the potential of every beach in Gunung Kidul District.

Gunung Kidul is endowed with several pristine beaches, and most of them still require effective management to transform them into national and international tourist destinations and large investments both from the government for infrastructure as well as from the private sector for the development of hotels, resorts, golf courses, and restaurants.

Gunung Kidul Regional Secretary Drajat Ruswandono has stated that for the preparation of the coastal tourism master plan, all stakeholders, including the tour operators and Yogyakarta Palace officials, will be involved to discuss the management of all coastal areas in the district.

Ruswandono noted that with the coastal tourism master plan, all beaches in Gunung Kidul will be developed according to their respective characteristics.

After the formulation of the coastal tourism master plan is completed, a detailed technical plan will be created to manage the beaches for tourism and economic activities and residential areas.

Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: AA Ariwibowo
Copyright © ANTARA 2017