Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Public Works and Public Housing Ministry has completed the construction of 263 Tourism Accommodation Facilities (Sarhunta) in the super-priority destination of Manado-Likupang, North Sulawesi, to support recovery of the tourism sector.

"The government believes tourism is the main sector that can rebound soon. Hence, the ministry will renovate the houses of local residents to be used as homestays in the tourism destination area. Local people can also derive benefits of the tourism sector," Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono noted in a statement here on Thursday.

The Sarhunta Program is a series of activities of the self-help housing assistance (BSPS) program for 2,750 uninhabitable housing units to be used as homestays. The program is implemented by the Directorate of self-help housing of the ministry's Directorate General of Housing.

Hadimuljono affirmed that the program targets to improve the quality of uninhabitable houses to become livable structures. It comprises two key activities: improvement of business function houses and non-business function houses.

The 263 Sarhunta in Manado-Likupang are located in the three villages of Marinsow, Pulisan, and Kinunang and one village in Bunaken Island.

The houses can be used as homestays as well as other supporting facilities for tourists.

The ministry has also completed the renovation of 225 non-business function houses along the road to the Likupang strategic tourism zone (KSPN).

The budget for renovation and rehabilitation of the Sarhunta in North Sulawesi has totaled Rp36.60 billion.

The design must be emblematic of the local customs. However, it can be modified to add a more modern touch to the homestays, albeit still retaining the traditional nuances to attract domestic and foreign tourists to stay.

Homestays in Manado-Likupang are rented at Rp200 thousand per night.

The ministry's Director General of Housing Khalawi Abdul Hamid remarked that the Sarhunta program is expected to support tourism recovery and boost the income of local people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has developed infrastructure at five super-priority National Tourism Strategic Areas (KSPN): Lake Toba, Borobudur Temple, Mandalika, Labuan Bajo, and Manado-Likupang.

Through the Sarhunta program, the government will rehabilitate one thousand housing units in Lake Toba in North Sumatra Province, 350 units in Borobudur in Central Java Province, 500 units in Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara Province, 600 units in Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara Province, and 300 units in Manado-Likupang in North Sulawesi Province.

The program, with budget allocation totaling Rp429.23 billion, also aims to improve the quality of uninhabitable housing to become livable houses and to improve the quality of uninhabitable houses along the roads to tourist destinations.

Of the total funding, some Rp90 million is allocated for improving the housing quality and Rp180 million is allotted for constructing new houses as well as rebuilding or rehabilitating traditional houses in the tourism area. Related news: North Sulawesi's tourist facilities to be renovated by 2020
Related news: N Sulawesi tourism facilities should meet four-star standards: Jokowi


Translator: Aji Cakti, Sri Haryati
Editor: Suharto
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