This does not imply that visitors are damaging (the temple), but each time a visitor climbs the Borobudur, the temple stones will wear away
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno stated that capping the number of visitors to climb Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to 1,200 per day is inevitable.

The rate at which the stones at the Buddhist temple are wearing off has significantly has increased in these years due to visitors thronging the temple daily, he pointed out.

"This does not imply that visitors are damaging (the temple), but each time a visitor climbs the Borobudur, the temple stones will wear away," Uno stated during the ministry's weekly press briefing observed through virtual means here on Monday.

Limiting the number of visitors allowed to climb the temple to 1,200 per day, or 400-500 thousand visitors annually, is within the temple's capability to cater to tourists in the super-priority tourism destination, the minister explained.

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Uno noted that to maintain the longevity of the temple structure, the tourism destination operator has also provided special sandals that visitors must wear before climbing Borobudur.

"The temple is (a testament) of our civilization, it is our heritage, and is inherited by our ancestors. We must also ensure that Borobudur will be an environmentally friendly (tourism) destination," Uno remarked.

Moreover, the minister clarified that the government will reconsider the new entry fee, which was decried by members of the public as unaffordable after earlier being announced by Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

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"We will conduct strategic measures after considering inputs from netizens, experts, the business community, tourism and creative economy actors, cultural experts, as well as religious and community leaders," he affirmed.

Earlier, Pandjaitan announced a set of new tariffs to climb Borobudur Temple of US$100 for foreign tourists and Rp750 thousand (US$51.75) for domestic tourists. Students and participants of school study tour groups are required to only pay Rp5 thousand (US$0.345).

The coordinating minister justified the new fee, available through an online reservation system, solely for the sake of preserving the historical and cultural wealth of the country.

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Translator: M Baqir Idrus A, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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