Indonesia expects more heritage inscription to raise tourism

With fourteen tangible and intangible heritages already inscribed by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) as World's Heritages, Indonesia is seeking more of such an endorsement on its heritages, aimed at gaining more foreign tourists coming in the country. "We are now gathering data about the authenticity of those heritages, will be submitted to UNESCO with great expectation to see more of our heritages endorsed as World's Heritage," Indonesian Education and Culture Deputy Minister, Windu Nuryanti, said on Monday.

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To Raise Tourism

World Heritage Bali Paddy Fields IndonesiaShe said that her ministry has already submitted documents and other necessities on the country's tangible and intangible heritages to UNESCO regarding the aim. Among those heritages was the culture of Toraja in South Sulawesi province, Noken in Papua province, Tenun Sunda weaving technique from West Java and various sacred dances in several provinces, Nuryanti said on the sidelines of celebrating UNESCO's endorsement on Balinese traditional irigation system of Subak here.

Members of UNESCO's World Heritage Commission agreed to inscript the Subak as a new World's Heritage in its plenary meeting held in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 29 this year. Subak World's Heritage covers a total area of more than 20,000 heactares area, cosisting five sites located in five regencies in Bali.

Windu said that the endorsement of Subak as a new World Heritage is highly expected to boost up the visit of foreign tourists to Indonesia, the largest country in Southeast Asia region. The Subak is a particular and ancient Balinese way in distributing water for their paddy fields. It adopts Balinese traditional philosophy called 'Tri Hita Karana' that upholds and highly respects synergy values of man's connection with God, others and environment.

Through the philosophy, water distribution from rivers lining across the island can be conducted democratically and evenly to locals living in the island dubbed as the 'Island of Gods'.

"Bali's cultural and social philosophy has made the island uniquely and attractively different," Indonesian Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Noeh said in his remarks to celebrate the UNESCO's inscription on Subak as a World's Heritage.

Bali is still the most prominent destination for foreign tourists visiting the country. Indonesia saw around 7.2 million foreign tourists visit spend millions of US dollars during their visit last year. Some 8 million were expected to come this year. Their visit is expected to boost up the country's creative economy industry, contribute to government's efforts to improve national growth.

Indonesian government has demonstrated serious action to address tourism business. Besides developing new tourism center, such as Tanjung Lesung in Banten province, government also builds infrastructures aimed at facilitating the business. Indonesian government has drafted plans to build more airports, allowing tourists to visits wider range of tourist destinations across the country.

Orchestrated efforts to promote national tourism has also been conducted by government agencies and stakeholders in tourism business by adding more flights from and to more foreign countries, sending cultural delegation abroad and establishing cooperation with several countries.

The Education and Culture Ministry has bilateral agreements with several Asian and European countries to jointly develop heritages cities in repective country, aimed at sourcing the economy benefits from the existence of those cities.

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