Jakarta. Residents of Sumberoto, a small village located near the Modangan beach in Malang, East Java, are ramping up efforts to build homestays and renovate tourism facilities near the picturesque shoreline.
Modangan residents met with Malang Tourism Agency Head Made Arya Wedhantara in Sumberoto on Sunday (18/09) to discuss developing the area to attract more foreign and domestic tourists.
The tourism agency will capitalize on the beach's popular paragliding facilities, scenic landscape and nearby teak forest to draw more visitors, while also increasing efforts to build and repair road infrastructure.
"If paragliding becomes even more popular, our beach will eventually be given special attention as a center for this sport," said Arya, as quoted in a Ministry of Tourism statement.
In addition to the area's clifftop paragliding runway, villagers are expanding dirt trails to accommodate ATV enthusiasts, while five homestays within a 1.5 hectare complex are slated for construction in coming months.
The Malang Tourism Agency has coordinated with local cooks to establish several tasty eateries for visitors to choose from, while free WiFi has also been setup in the area surrounding Modangan beach.
The beach is also home to a handful of "selfie spots" where tourists can take photographs of themselves in front of scenic backdrops.
"For these selfie spots, visitors can take pictures to make it look like they are paragliding," said Budi Utomo, Sumberoto's village head.
The new developments are in line with the Tourism Ministry's halal planning initiative, complete with a new Islamic prayer house to cater to Muslim visitors. However, couples traveling to Modangan must first show proof of marriage if they wish to book accommodation together.
"People here are very religious, so we implemented precautions not to disrupt their way of life," Budi said.
Thomas Sabarudin of the Indonesia Paragliding Association said there are five local pilots with dozens of flight hours under their belts to help navigate the skies for incoming tourists.
"The pilot students have been trained since the start of development of Modangan beach," he said.
Those pilots are expected to represent Malang in upcoming national and international paragliding competitions.