Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Village, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration has targeted to increase the number of tourism villages to 10,000 by 2020, from the current 7,275 tourism villages, or around 9,71 percent of the total of villages in Indonesia.

"We are targeting 10,000 tourism villages, because we have seen that in the last four years (the government has provided) village funds, and it has turned out that tourism villages are able to provide a large income," Minister of Village, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration, Eko Putro Sandjojo, said in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He said the tourist villages could be financially independent by managing village funds and that there are many tourist villages whose tax revenue is greater than the village funds they receive.

In order to encourage other villages to become tourism villages, the government gathered stakeholders ranging from regional heads, representatives of private companies and state-owned enterprises, to village heads.

"It is our intention that the village heads can use the village funds as a stimulus in village development so that the village can be financially independent," Sandjojo noted.

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The Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Areas, and Transmigration also provides assistance to villages that do not yet have the vision to build a tourism village.

According to the minister, developing a tourist village is actually simple and starts with exploring the potential the village has to emerge as an attraction for tourists.

"For example, one of the villages in Gorontalo, although it is quite difficult to access, can be managed as an attraction for off-road adventures," Sandjojo said.

President-elect, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has prepared a budget of Rp400 trillion for the village funding program. The funds will be disbursed to run the village fund program for the next five years.

This budget increased when compared to the 2014-2019 period. Specifically for next year, the village budget will increase to Rp75 trillion from Rp70 trillion this year.

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Translator: Aubrey Kandelila F./Yashinta D
Editor: Sri Haryati
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