Jakarta (ANTARA) - Yogyakarta has been chosen as the host of the 2023 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) given the city’s readiness in terms of its MICE infrastructure (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) for the ministerial-level meeting.

"I also picked Yogyakarta (as the location). I am very happy with Yogyakarta, and it is yearnable," Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno remarked here on Friday.

Yogyakarta is prepared for the 2023 ATF in terms of human resources, accommodation, a large-scale exhibition spot, strongly authentic tourist attractions, unique cuisine, and natural destinations.

Indonesia will host the forum, themed “ASEAN: A Journey to Wonderful Destinations,” from February 2–5, 2023, in Yogyakarta.

Some preparations have been carried out, including the opening of direct flights from and to Yogyakarta.

"When I land there (Yogyakarta International Airport), it is like a world-class international airport, we hope that there will be more direct flights to support the success of ATF 2023," Uno said.

The preparations for the forum are being carried out with the help of the industry and the local government, for instance, the Yogyakarta provincial government has committed to renovating the Jogja Expo Center.

The renovation, which is targeted to be completed by December 2022, is being conducted for the Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) event.

Yogyakarta is also preparing human resources who will serve as Liaison Officers (LO) for senior officials.

Chairperson of the Yogyakarta Regional Tourism Promotion Agency, Her Royal Highness Princess Bendara, said she expects the 2023 ATF to serve as a gateway for Yogyakarta to become a leading destination in Southeast Asia.

"ATF's readiness is already more than 70 percent; Yogyakarta is very ready (in terms of) MICE locations, and this ATF is the gateway to our program in 2025, which is to become one of the leading destinations in Southeast Asia," she remarked.

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Translator: M Alatas, Kenzu
Editor: Suharto
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