Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Kingdom of the Netherlands has echoed its commitment to assisting the development of Indonesian tourism, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated.

"I request King Willem to help us by sending some of his tourism practitioners to train us to develop our tourism spots. We do not need financial assistance, but we need experts in tourism to train young people here to develop this sector in matters pertaining to hygiene, educate them in serving tourists, and making a place more attractive to tourists," Pandjaitan noted in a statement here on Friday.

The minister delivered the statement after receiving the visit of King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti from the Netherlands at the Del Institute of Technology campus in Boti Song, North Sumatra, Thursday (Mar 12).

Pandjaitan, accompanied by Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama, invited the Dutch Royal couple to tour the Del Institute of Technology Complex.

"From the discussion, we have an idea to start operating direct flight from Amsterdam to Medan," he stated.

Pandjaitan believes that the opening of direct flight between Amsterdam and Medan will bring more tourists from the Netherlands to Indonesia, especially North Sumatra.

Furthermore, the two parties agreed to hold further talks next week through a conference call.

During the visit, the King and Queen of the Netherlands also had the opportunity to meet personally with tourism practitioners holding a seminar. Ratu Maxima highlighted the importance of capacity building in the tourism industry.

"Capacity building (the process of getting, improving, and maintaining skills, knowledge and equipment to improve competence) is increasingly required if you want to have a sustainable tourism business. A concept that in addition to offering economic benefits also contributes to conservation activities," Maxima told a participant.

In Toba, the royal couple also visited the Siambat Dalan Village/Lintong Nihuta Village, Eco Village Tourism in Silima Lombu, Samosir, and then Parapat, before departing from Indonesia. Related news: King and Queen of the Netherlands receive Bataknese "Ulos Pinunsaan"

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Reporter: Ade Irma, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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