Jakarta (ANTARA) - The 2018 Asian Games are a momentum to promote the implementation of Indonesia's diversity, brotherhood, unity and tourism among Asian countries.

"Indonesia is the right place to strengthen the spirit of Asia, namely synergy, sportsmanship and harmony," said former member of the Indonesian Parliament KH Maman Imanulhaq, here on Monday.

Indonesia could spread the spirit of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), the spirit of unity in difference to strengthen the Asian brotherhood.

The spirit of Asia must continue to be echoed in creating peace and prosperity as well as in promoting tourism. By doing that, Asia is united in diversity to voice the value of brotherhood and humanity.

"In order to solve various problems of conflicts, disputes, natural disasters, radicalism, and terrorism. If Asia cannot solve it alone, don't be surprised if external forces will intervene and disrupt peace in Asia," he said.

In addition, this world event contains no religious and political sentiment. In fact, the 2018 Asian Games are a new milestone in the unification of the two Koreas, South Korea and North Korea who agreed to wear one flag. This is extraordinary because through sports political affairs are easier, he said.

The Chairperson of the PBNU Da`wah Institute also said that the 2018 Asian Games were not only tools for economic and tourism promotion, but also promotion of harmonious life and togetherness against the flow of hatred, radicalism and terrorism.

However, the opening of the Asian Games strengthens the love of the homeland.

The glamorous opening ceremony of the Asian games 2018 in Jakarta could serve as a big promotional campaign for the country`s tourism.

The 18th Asian Games from Aug 18 to Sept 2 are held in Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra.

The ceremony provides a good momentum to show the cultural wealth of the country, a tourism observer from the Soedirman University, Chusmeru, said here on Sunday.

"It was a blend of sports, entertainment, and recreation, display of cultural wealth, symbol of Unity in Diversity serving as a promotional stage for Indonesian tourism," Chusmeru said.

Sports events organized properly with good concept could be an effective forum for tourism promotion.

"This is a sport tourism that would attract tourists both domestic and foreign tourists . Asian Games 2018 is highly potential to contribute to the country`s tourism industry with contingents from 45 Asian countries," Chusmeru said.

He said Asia Games could be made as a reference and source of inspirations for regional areas of Indonesia in organizing similar events in smaller scale to attract tourists .

"Regional areas need only to find favorite sport events that could attract international participation in addition to preparing tour packages to suit the athletes taking part in the events, he added.

Regional administrations should begin to consider and study the potential of sports beside natural beauty, cultural variety to speed up development of tourism industry in their respective areas, he said.

"The Tourism Ministry itself already prepared tour packages with tourist objects in seven destinations including Jakarta, South Sumatra, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, Banyuwangi, and Bali," he said.

The country is seeking to boost development of its tourist sector which is expected to a major foreign exchange earner for the country.

The government has set target to double the number of visits by foreign tourists to 20 million in five year until 2019.

In the meantime, President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Sheikh Fahad Al-Sabah in his remark the 2018 Asian Games had incised a number of new historical events for the Asian countries.

"We are delighted to be present in your beautiful country. The 2018 Asian Games has made a new history as for the first time in the history of Asia`s biggest sporting extravaganza, the Games are jointly hosted by two cities -Jakarta and Palembang," he said.

After a 56-year wait, Indonesia again hosted the Asian Games for the second time. The 18th Asian Games also made a new history in which the North and South Korean teams merged into one team, he stated.

The Kuwaiti contingent, who had to receive sanctions and had to be under an independent banner for several years, can take part in this Asia`s biggest multi-sport event by raising its own flag and national anthem.

Witnessing this historic moment, Sheikh Ahmad expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian people as well as the leadership of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla for making Indonesia be the host of the Asian Games.

"We are also grateful to more than 30 thousand volunteers who have supported this Asia`s biggest sporting event. We cannot do it without your support. Thank you for the time and contribution to Indonesia`s glory," he said.

Reporter: Eliswan Azly
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2018