Labuan Bajo, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has said that Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province has extraordinary potential to become a religious and cultural tourism destination.

In a statement received here on Monday, Uno explained that this is because of the inculturation of the Catholic Church on Flores Island.

"Flores Island in NTT is famous for its history and Catholic heritage. Flores is also often referred to as Missionary Island; this island has extraordinary potential and attraction for religious tourism," he added.

He made the statement at a webinar organized by the Labuan Bajo Flores Authority Implementing Agency (BPOLBF) on the "Potential and Strategy for Catholic Religious Tourism Development on Flores Island."

The webinar was held to discuss the opportunities for and challenges of developing Catholic religious tourism on Flores Island.

Minister Uno said that the inculturation of the Catholic Church on Flores Island could provide opportunities for offering spiritual experiences to visitors.

"It is expected to increase religious pilgrimage visits, so that it can provide benefits to the community by encouraging economic growth, and also to maintain the tradition and the inculturation of the Catholic Church that has existed so far," he explained.

He informed that to support the development of East Nusa Tenggara tourism in 2024, four annual events from the province have been included in the Nusantara Event Calendar (KEN) of the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.

Of the four events, Uno said, two have religious and cultural themes, namely the Golokoe Festival in Labuan Bajo and the Bale Nagi Festival in Larantuka.

Religious tourism is expected to generate economic benefits for the community as well as protect Catholic culture and traditions in the region.

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Translator: Gecio V, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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