Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Statistics Indonesia (BPS) has called on the Papua administration to pay more serious attention to tourism development as the sector is a promising source of locally generated income (PAD), the agency's official said.

Papua Province has abundant tourist attractions and destinations, Coordinator of the Functions of Statistical Distribution at BPS-Papua Office Akhmad Fauzi said in a statement that ANTARA quoted here Sunday.

Papua has a variety of stunning beaches as well as diverse cultural and historical heritages, he said, adding that these all could attract more domestic and foreign travellers to come.

In Sumberker Village, Samofa Sub-district, Biak Numfor District, for instance, there is a Japanese Cave.

As disclosed by the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, the cave is one of remnants of the World War II where visitors can still find light and heavy weapons, bullets, helmets, planes, tanks, bombs, foodware, swords, and medical equipment, in the front yard of the site.

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Several festivals that have annually been held could also contribute significantly to the province's economic growth if they were well managed, he said.

However, the regional administrations have yet to involve intensively in promoting and selling the province's tourist attractions and destinations, he said.

Instead, people still become the driving force of Papua's tourism industry due to their intensive involvement in promoting and selling the tour packages, Fauzi said.

The tourism sector can be developed more rapidly if the regional governments actively involve in developing and promoting the sector, and adopt it as an important factor for economic growth besides mining.

The tourism sector could also become a potential income source of PAD for the new provinces of Papua Pegunungan, Papua Selatan, and Papua Tengah, he said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA)-Papua Chapter Iwanta Peranginangin said he would promote tour packages in the three new provinces for local and foreign tourists.

To this end, more direct flights could hopefully be opened to the three new provinces, he added.

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Translator: Qadri P, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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