Labuan Bajo, NTT (ANTARA) - The Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Visit Year 2023-2025 was officially launched at the 15th Summit of subregional economic cooperation in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) noted that the pandemic had disrupted the global tourism sector that had reduced the rate of tourism in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand by more than 90 percent.

"Praise God, since last year, the tourism sector has started to revive. The movement of international tourists has reached more than 900 million and will certainly continue to grow," he said.

The president affirmed that Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand should move quickly to make the most of this opportunity.

He outlined three areas of focus: improving infrastructure, especially connectivity; strengthening innovative branding; and developing digital tourism to improve services.

"Those three issues aim to strengthen a tourism ecosystem that is resilient, inclusive, and sustainable," he remarked.

The IMT-GT is an economic cooperation framework established to improve the welfare and economic growth of people in border areas of the IMT-GT countries.

Indonesian regions that are part of the IMT-GT cooperation are Aceh, Bangka Belitung, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung, South Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, North Sumatra, and West Sumatra.

The IMT-GT Visit Year campaign was launched to encourage tourism recovery in several regions as well as to raise awareness about IMT-GT as a single destination.

For Indonesia, as Chair of the IMT-GT Tourism Sector, this campaign is also used to encourage tourism recovery and increase marketing of tourism destinations, especially in 10 provinces in Sumatra.

It is an opportunity for Indonesia to promote two priority destinations in Sumatra: Lake Toba in North Sumatra and Tanjung Kelayang in Bangka Belitung.

This campaign is also one of the efforts to promote new and less explored destinations in Sumatra.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Resinta S
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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