One million visits is a sustainable target because we do not want overtourism; so, what we are pushing is the quality aspect.
Labuan Bajo (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Menparekraf), Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, on Tuesday said that the government is focusing on quality, rather than quantity (more tourist visits) when it comes to tourism.

"One million visits is a sustainable target because we do not want overtourism; so, what we are pushing is the quality aspect," he expounded during a working visit to Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai district, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province.

He said that the government is also encouraging the quality of tourism for tourists, namely their length of stay in Indonesia and increasing tourist shopping activities, especially for products made by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the creative economy.

"The length of time they (tourists) stay and the amount they spend on the local economy can open up business opportunities and employment opportunities. So, that is what we are promoting," he explained.

The minister emphasized that the tourism paradigm does not only track the number of visits in terms of quantity, but also prioritizes aspects of quality.

Responding to the number of tourist arrivals in Labuan Bajo, which is dominated by foreign tourists, Uno said that Labuan Bajo, as a super-priority tourist destination, is being actively promoted and has become a favorite among foreign travelers.

At several international forums, many people have asked about Labuan Bajo tourism, he added.

"Now, we have to provide direct flights. We hope that there will be direct flights from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or ASEAN, which will be the locomotive for increasing the number of foreign tourists," he said.

The minister further said that a presidential regulation (Perpres) on the Tourism Fund, or special tourism fund, is being prepared by the government.

"We will finalize the tourism fund according to the President's direction at the beginning of this year. As of January, the preparations for the presidential decree are now being finalized; hopefully, we can finish it soon and it can be announced with the President's approval," he informed.

The Labuan Flores Authority Implementing Agency (BPOLBF) informed that it will increase tourism activities in 2024 to boost tourist visits to Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara.

"We will add more national and international events every month to support more tourist visits to Labuan Bajo," BPOLBF president director Shana Fatina stated earlier.

The number of tourist visits to Labuan Bajo is targeted to reach one million this year, she added.

Fatina said that this year, her side will focus on events that can help diversify tourism products.

Meanwhile, to boost tourism in Parapuar, the BPOLBF will work with several partners to upgrade facilities, attractions, and accommodations as well as other infrastructure.

As of early December 2023, the number of tourists was recorded at just 800 thousand.

Fatina informed that several national events will be organized during the low season to attract more tourists.

Related news: BPOLBF to increase activities in Labuan Bajo to boost tourism
Related news: Ministry focuses on developing sustainable tourism this year: Uno

Translator: Gecio V, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Arie Novarina
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