Tanjungpandan, Bangka Belitung, Jan 29 (ANTARA News) - Tourism Minister Arief Yahya expected that Belitung could be declared as part of the UNESCO Global Geopark in 2019, in an effort to increase tourist visits in the area.

"To be a world-class destination, Belitung should be declared as part of the UNESCO Global Geopark," Yahya stated here on Tuesday.

The declaration of Belitung as UNESCO Global Geopark would facilitate the promotion of Belitung as a world-class tourism destination.

He considered the growth of tourist arrivals in the area to be quite good every year.

The status of Belitung as UNESCO Global Geopark will increase the number of tourist visits to the area.

In 2019, the government submitted Belitung and Lake Toba to UNESCO for confirmation as UNESCO Global Geopark.

The minister expected that the local government would remain focused on achieving the status of Unesco Global Geopark with the support of all parties.

"The local government should have great commitment. I hope that Belitung can achieve the status as UNESCO Global Geopark," the minister remarked.

Ciletuh-Pelabuhanratu geopark had been declared as part of the UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG) on April 16, 2018.

West Java governor Ahmad Heryawan noted that besides Ciletuh, UNESCO had also confirmed 12 geoparks in 11 countries as UGG at the 204th meeting of UNESCO Executive Board, External Relations and Program Commission, in Paris, France, on Thursday.

Heryawan added that he received information about the declaration of Ciletuh as UGG from the head of tourism and culture of Sukabumi district, Budiman, who represented West Java in the UNESCO meeting.

Reporting by Ahmadi, Azis Kurmala
Editing by Suharto

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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