Balikpapan (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, has said that Umrah and Hajj organizing services offer both a business and job opportunity to santris (Islamic boarding school students).

"Santris have the potential to become players in the digital creative economy of Umrah and Hajj," he said in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, on Wednesday.

The value of Indonesia's Umrah and Hajj organizing sector was estimated to be up to Rp65 trillion (around US$3.9 billion) in the past year, he added.

He emphasized the importance for santris to develop skills in creating high-quality products and marketing them effectively through digital content.

He made the remarks while giving a briefing on a digital entrepreneurship event at the Hidayatullah Islamic Boarding School in Balikpapan.

Indonesia's vast network of 38,000 Islamic boarding schools with approximately 5 million students presents a chance to develop digital entrepreneurship as a priority program, he said.

He said that he planned to meet the Saudi Arabian ambassador and other Indonesian ministers to discuss developing a creative economic ecosystem for the Umrah and Hajj organizing sector.

"Santris must maintain the enthusiasm generated from this event because they also already have strong religious knowledge," he said.

He added that santris need to get complete digital knowledge, especially in terms of the digital economy, to become useful talents, including through capacity-building training platforms to face the challenges of the creative digital industry.

Uno expressed hope that in the future, santris will no longer be job seekers but job creators when they graduate.

"The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is targeting around 4.4 million new quality jobs in the tourism and creative economy sectors throughout Indonesia," he added.

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Translator: Nyaman Bagus Purwaniawan/Muhammad Solih Januar, Ci
Editor: Anton Santoso
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