Labuan Bajo (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is striving to bolster the supply chain in Labuan Bajo Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), to encourage the sustainability of creative economy products in the region.

"Through strengthening this supply chain, we hope to be able to increase the competitiveness and quality of the products in Labuan Bajo. We hope that 90-percent supply of creative products in Labuan Bajo would come from local products," Deputy for Industry and Investment of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Henky Manurung, noted during a press statement received on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, through the Labuan Bajo Flores Authority Agency (BPOLBF), has applied various initiatives to encourage the utilization of local products in the Labuan Bajo tourism ecosystem since 2020.

The BPOLBF provides integrated training, campaigns, and business meeting programs for local communities and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). In 2022, this program will be developed on a large scale and is expected to become a milestone for self-reliance in terms of local NTT products.

BPOLBF is currently encouraging MSME players with various programs to improve their product standards to meet the hotel and restaurant standards.

In addition to tourism products, the inclusive tourism sector will be successful if it is connected to the primary sector market for agriculture, plantations, livestock, and fisheries in Labuan Bajo to improve welfare and added value for the community.

"In general, all hotels and restaurants in Labuan Bajo are ready to use local products as long as MSMEs are committed to producing their products sustainably and meeting the standards provided by hotels and restaurants," BPOLBF President Director Shana Fatina affirmed.

In the implementation of the Tourism Industry Supply Chain Strengthening and Creative Economy and MSME Product Empowerment in Super Priority Tourism Destinations (DPSP) Labuan Bajo, local MSME players and the hotel management exchanged ideas about products to gain a broader understanding of each other's needs and identify prospects that can be worked on in future.

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Secretary of the West Manggarai Tourism Service, Chrispin Mesima, stated that supply chain strengthening has become one of the strategic issues since it included West Manggarai's first mission to develop sustainable and inclusive tourism as an economic driver.

From the results of a survey conducted by the West Manggarai District Government, it showed that the average annual demand for rice from 59 hotels in West Manggarai reached 109 tons. Of that amount, 67 tons were supplied from outside the West Manggarai area. This fact indicated that there was a huge opportunity to fulfill this requirement from local supplies.

"This condition can also provide an overview on whether our creative products met the standard criteria required by hotels," Mesima noted.

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Translator: Fransiska Mariana N, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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