Some 440,000 foreign tourists expected to visit Borobudur in 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A total of 440,000 foreign tourists are expected to visit the Borobudur Temple in Central Java in 2011, a temple management official said.

"The number of foreign tourist arrivals at Borobudur has been quite encouraging lately despite several tragic events such as the eruptions of Mount Merapi which has now returned to its dormant state," president director of the Borobudur-Prambanan-Ratu Boko Tourism Park Purnomo Siswoprasetyo said here Friday.

The number of tourists visiting Borobudur had never decreased and leading travel agents had now included Borobudur and Prambanan tours in their itineraries, he said.

"Therefore, we are iotimistic that the number of tourists visiting Borobudur will rise in the coming years," he said.

He estimated that more than 440,000 foreign tourists would visit Borobudur this year..

Various promotions will be organized to attract foreign tourists to Borobudur and surrounding areas.

The Masterpiece of Borobudur Ballet will be performed at the Borobudur temple in the near future.

Famous Hollywood actor Richard Gere is scheduled to visit Borobudur and Prambanan temples on June 23-25, 2011.

At the Borobudur temple, the actor will join a Morning Peace Walk with Buddhist priests.

He will also conduct a boddhi tree planting in the temple area. The co-star of Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" will later visit Pawon and Mendut temples.

Gere, a recipient of the Golden Globe Award will be guest of honor at the Masterpiece of Borobudur Ballet to be performed on the Aksobya open stage on the eastern flank of Borobudur.

Richard Gere, a Buddhist, is also scheduled to meet Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik in Jakarta, and Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X in Yogyakarta Sultanate Palace. Gere will visit Indonesia with his family.

"We hope the visit of Richard Gere will be a special promotion for Borobudur, and we hope in the future, many more Hollywood stars will visit Borobudur," Purnomo Siswoprasetyo said.(*)