Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Targeted to create 600 thousand jobs, development of the tourism sector in the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) is directed to offer economic benefits to the local community.

To this end, NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat has designed various plans and concepts, including supporting regulations for tourism development over the next five years.

In NTT, the governor believes that the tourism sector can be relied upon as one of the economic pillars in future.

According to Laiskodat, development in the next five years will focus on tourism, human resources, people`s welfare, infrastructure, and bureaucratic reforms.

NTT Tourism Office Chief Marius Ardu Jelamu remarked in the provincial capital of Kupang on Tuesday that Governor Laiskodat has said that 600 thousand jobs must be created from the world of tourism for the next five years.

The governor has set tourism as the leading sector to encourage economic improvement in the province, which means other sectors will also be developed to support the tourism sector.

Hence, relevant technical agencies from the industrial department will intervene in the culinary business developed by the community around the location of the tourism attractions.

The agricultural sector will also provide support by preparing the results of horticultural crops for tourists, in addition to being able to convert plantations into tourist destinations.

Similarly, the forestry sector, which has the authority to manage production forests and protected forests as tourism destinations, will provide opportunities for the community to develop it.

The tourism sector in the province will act as the core and be supported by other sectors as its plasma.

Furthermore, the local Tourism Office chief stated that when all sectors can be integrated properly, they will support the tourism industry that can offer ample employment opportunities to the local community.

"If we say industry, all must be integrated from upstream to downstream and become an economic chain that can have an impact on various stakeholders," Jelamu remarked.

In the meantime, Governor Laiskodat reiterated that the tourism sector will be the main driver of the economy, as it is quite prospective, with a variety of world-class potential.

NTT is endowed with at least eight natural wonders, in addition to immense potential in cultural tourism, which are expected to boost local economic development and tourism.

Among natural wonders of the province are: Semana Santa in Larantuka; Nihiwatu Beach in Sumba Island; Alor Dive in Alor Island; Nemberalla Beach in Rote Ndao; Komodo Island; Pink Beach in Padar Island; Taman 17 in Riung Island; and the tri-colored lakes of Mount Kelimutu.

The governor explained that in addition to the natural wonders of Komodo National Park, the world`s most beautiful island of Sumba, tri-colored Lake Kelimutu, and Alor marine park, NTT has a variety of patterns and fabric motifs as a testament to the local women`s intellectual property as part of the wealth of tourism itself.

Laiskodat noted that development of the tourism sector not only focuses on the construction of hotels and restaurants but also the transfer of human culture.

In a bid to support development of the tourism sector, Laiskodat noted that one of the efforts to be undertaken is to establish regional regulations (Perda) that are related to hygiene aspects.

In a bid to halt garbage dumping in future, the local government will prepare a regional regulation in the form of a fine of Rp50 thousand imposed on anyone found to have thrown garbage carelessly.

On the other hand, the local government will continue to seek investment in developing new tourist destinations, including the new Tuamese nature tourism area in the island-based province.

With the presence of the new Tuamese nature tourism area on Timor Island, the natural beauty of Indonesia, comprising thousands of islands attached like emeralds glittering on the equatorial line, will never be completely explored.

What tourists need to explore soon are the scenic Tuamese hills in the North Central Timor District in the island of Timor, NTT Province.

Tuamese is worth a visit, but its hidden wonders and beauty are yet to be widely known and explored by several local and foreign tourists.

No wonder, the NTT Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) is planning to develop the Tuamese nature tourism destination.

Although the Tuamese tour package has yet to be sold to tourists, NTT ASITA Chairman Abed Frans has stated that the area is still being explored through a survey of the location to find out the profile and then develop it to make it more interesting.

Frans, owner of the Flobamor Tour travel company, remarked that the Tuamese tourist destination offers beautiful and exotic natural scenery, with views of the green hills below, which is a scenic beach and sea that is partly utilized for salt farming.

In addition, the people around the destination are friendly to tourists and provide parking spaces to visitors.

The access road to the Tuamese tourist destination has also been repaired through hardening.

According to Frans, the Tuamese nature tourism in TTU District can then be coupled with various other tourist destinations in Belu District, considering the proximity between the two districts and both being located at the border with Timor Leste.

Apart from the Tuamese nature tourism, NTT Province offers a variety of interesting tourist destinations but unfortunately access to these locations is inadequate, for which the local government needs to put in hard work.

Striving to make the tourism industry an economic pillar for the province and its more than five million people, the local government must soon open access to various tourist destinations in the province.

Several iconic tourist attractions in NTT have been included in the 2018 "Anugerah Pesona Indonesia" (API) nomination, and it must be responded to and supported positively by the local government by opening access to the locations and preparing professional human resources that are able to serve tourists visiting the places.

NTT ASITA is proud of the inclusion of more tourism icons of the province in the nomination of API 2018.

It means that increasingly more number of people in various regions of Indonesia and abroad will know about the province`s tourism wealth.

Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: Yosep Hariyadi
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