Jakarta (ANTARA) - Village tourism that caters to special interests and tempts tourists to visit villages can be the answer to supporting sustainable development, researcher Roby Ardiwidjaja from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) said on Monday.

"Indonesia's potential is quite amazing," he said. "Village tourism is one of the prime attractions in the country and has high potential to be developed as a world-class tourism destination."

Data from Statistics Indonesia shows that Indonesia has 83,971 villages and subdistricts, 98 cities, and 416 districts.

If city development plans do not consider villages, it would have an impact on thousands of villages across Indonesia, Ardiwidjaja said.

"Development should come from villages; otherwise, villagers will flock to cities," he said, adding that urbanization can make rural areas lack human resources.

The focus of Indonesia's tourism development in the future is to increase the added value of tourism, he added.

The tourism development targets in the 2020–2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) include increasing foreign exchange and tourism added value, as well as building the capacity of destinations, industries, and communities.

The targets also cover human resource capacity, ecological carrying capacity, and competitive tourism.

Data from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy shows that Indonesia has 36 certified sustainable tourism villages.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno has said that his ministry is targeting creating as many as 6,000 tourism villages this year to boost national economic growth.

He said that those tourism villages would be able to contribute 4.5 percent to the national gross domestic product.

When the target is achieved, it is estimated to create around 4.4 million jobs in the creative economy sector, he said.

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Translator: Sugiharto P, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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