Padang (ANTARA) - Ony Yulfian, West Sumatra tourism agency's head, believes that the Ombilin Coal Mine in Sawahlunto, West Sumatra, being declared a world cultural heritage site will likely have multifarious positive impacts on the province's tourism sector.

"People will definitely attempt to know more about Ombilin after being designated as a world heritage site. It will be the best promotion for Sawahlunto and also for West Sumatra," Yulfian stated here on Monday.

He opined that promotion is the most crucial pillar for the development of tourism. "The Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawalunto will notably contribute to our tourism growth," he remarked.

“We already organized the Tour de Singkarak (TdS) to promote tourism, and its echoes have resounded internationally. Ombilin's designation as a world cultural heritage is expected to have a positive impact," he emphasized.

After attending the 43rd UNESCO World Heritage Committee Meeting in Azerbaijan City of Baku on Saturday (July 6), West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno noted that the provincial government and people of West Sumatera felt immense pride on Ombilin's designation as a world heritage site.

The governor also sought the public's involvement and participation in maintaining the world heritage site, so that the next generation will gain greater awareness of the colonial-era mining techniques employed in the coal mines in Sawahlunto.

Prayitno opined that the Ombilin coal mine's designation as a world heritage took place at an opportune time, as the Indonesian tourism sector, including in West Sumatra, faces challenging times owing to a hike in the domestic flight fares.

In accordance with the Medium Term Development Plan (RPJM), the West Sumatra provincial government has set a target of attracting some 57,087 foreign tourists and 8,476,724 domestic tourists to the province in 2019.

The Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto is the 5th UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Indonesia. Earlier, Indonesia's four other sites were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list: Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple in 1991, Sangiran Site in 1996, and Subak system in Bali in 2012.


Translator: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Eliswan Azly
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