Jakarta (ANTARA) - Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar urged tourism villages to demonstrate their uniqueness to attract tourists.

"Focusing on uniqueness can help villages build a strong image that distinguishes them from other destinations," the minister noted in a statement here on Saturday.

At the 2023 Nusantara Tourism Village Competition awards event in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Friday (November 24), he advised that villages should also conduct development authentically and dynamize village institutions and culture to always be adaptive to the environment.

"Tourism villages must prioritize the uniqueness of the village, the uniqueness of its nature, the uniqueness of its culture, the uniqueness of its arts, and all other uniqueness," he stated.

Iskandar noted that the tourism sector is one of the village's main strategies to increase the residents' income, protect the environment, and maintain harmony in the community.

Related news: Sustainable tourism development key to villages' progress: Ministry

He emphasized that tourism villages must prioritize sustainable tourism and support Village Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Goal 9, namely creating village infrastructure and innovation in accordance with needs.

At Friday's event, a total of 30 villages were listed in the top 15 of each category. The two categories were the developing, underdeveloped, and very underdeveloped villages category and independent and developed villages category.

On that occasion, the minister also symbolically handed over assistance of supporting facilities for the Smart Village program in the form of a computer set, printer, and supporting funds of Rp20 million (US$1,287), which will be given annually to the Smart Village program participants.

"Tonight, in Smart Village Phase I, five villages from Sumbawa District are ready to receive Digital Village community space facilities, which will be sent directly from the production warehouse to the selected villages," he remarked.

Related news: Ministry provides financing assistance for tourism villages in NTB

Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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