Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, has expressed hope that the Pesona Belitung Beach Festival 2023 would lead to the reopening of international flights to the island.

"We fully support the festival and anticipate direct flights from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to Belitung," he stated on Saturday.

Belitung's appeal is further enhanced by various events, including the beach festival, which promote local wisdom, he added.

The Pesona Belitung Beach Festival 2023, held from June 1 to 4, aimed to showcase the island's culture, arts, and tourism sites, particularly the Geopark Belitung.

The event featured cultural parades, art performances, the Geopark Unique Fashion Carnaval competition, a music competition, beach clean-up activities, and an expo.

Uno affirmed his ministry's commitment to supporting tourism and the creative economy in Belitung by providing training, marketing assistance, and financing through the #BanggaBuatanIndonesia national movement.

"Our objective is to achieve the target of attracting 8.5 million international tourists," he explained.

He emphasized that Belitung is a priority destination, and the challenge is to sustain the momentum in increasing tourist numbers.

According to Uno, the rise in tourism will bolster the local economy and create 4.4 million new jobs by 2024.

Acting Governor of Bangka Belitung, Suganda Pandapotan Pasaribu, commended the ministry's support for tourism and the creative economy in Belitung.

"This event not only benefits the economy by circulating cash among the public, but also preserves the local culture and traditional values in Belitung," he noted.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Anton Santoso
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