Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA) - Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno supports the strengthening of halal tourism in West Sumatra Province as one of the regional economic drivers.

"A halal tourism ecosystem has been formed in West Sumatra. We need to develop it so that it can be a strong attraction to increase the movement of tourists," he said here on Saturday (March 3) at the opening of the Sumarak Ramadhan 1445 Hijri at the West Sumatra Grand Mosque.

According to him, with all the potential that the province has, West Sumatra can become one of the supporting areas for realizing the annual target of domestic tourist movement.

"This year we are targeting 1.25 billion tourist movements in Indonesia. West Sumatra can be one of the regions that support the target," he said.

Sumarak Ramadhan is a month-long event held in West Sumatra during the holy month of Ramadan. The event is a celebration of Islamic culture and tradition and features a variety of activities, including religious lectures, cultural performances, and culinary demonstrations.

Meanwhile, West Sumatra Governor Mahyeldi said that Sumarak Ramadhan, which is held at the West Sumatra Grand Mosque, was one of the efforts to make the mosque a halal lifestyle center in the province.

"The West Sumatra Grand Mosque, aside from being a uniquely-designed place of worship, is one of the best in the world,” he said.

He noted that the mosque has facilities for supporting cultural activities that show the “Adat Basandi Syarak”, a concept that forms the foundation of the Minangkabau customary law in West Sumatra.

He said that the target of tourist movement in West Sumatra was 8.2 million people in 2023, and that goal was exceeded to 11.2 million people or 138 percent.

"This year we are targeting the movement of tourists both domestically and foreign tourists as many as 13.5 million," he said.

Sumarak Ramadhan 1445 Hijri is one of the 78 agendas included in the West Sumatra 2024 tourist calendar.

Sumarak Ramadhan presented several popular activities such as culinary events, “takjil” or snacks for breaking fasting markets, local culinary exhibitions, and an eating and drinking area for visitors.

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Translator: Miko E, Kenzu
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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