Jakarta. In addition to advertising and social media campaigns, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also joined hands with diplomats to promote tourist destinations in Indonesia.
The ministry conducted a diplomatic training visit to East Nusa Tenggara on April 16-22, with senior Indonesian diplomats as well as their counterparts from Australia, China, Myanmar, Fiji, Laos, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea, as participants.
They visited tourist destinations such as Padar, Komodo National Park, Manta Point, Heritage Walk Kampung Ujung, Pungu Island, Papagarang fishing village, Kanawa Island, Sunset Kalong Rinca, Liang Ndara and Amelia Sea View.
"They were also invited to join several activities, such as a beach cleanup action, youth forum, women's forum and culture forum," Shana Fatina, who was appointed by the Ministry of Tourism to oversee Labuan Bajo, said in a statement on April 18.
Shana is hopeful that the participants will gain knowledge of Indonesian tourist destinations, especially in the eastern part of the country.
"They are required to upload their activities during this event to social media using the hashtags #sesparlugoestobajo, #wonderfulindonesia and #pesonaindoanesia," she said.
The government unveiled plans during the event in Labuan Bajo to build a community tourism academy in West Manggarai district, following approval by the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education.
To accelerate accessibility to Labuan Bajo, state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I will take full control of the future development of Komodo Airport near the town.
"International flight carriers such as Garuda [Indonesia] and AirAsia have also been encouraged to open new flight routes to Labuan Bajo," Shana said.
The Tourism Ministry meanwhile plans to relocate the container port at Kampung Tengah to ease sea access to Labuan Bajo.
The Tourism Ministry also plans to promote Labuan Bajo as a tourism destination during the Malaysia International Dive Expo in Kuala Lumpur on May 12-14. The expo is a hub for diving equipment, courses and diving destinations.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya also asked the diplomats to seek investors for the Indonesian tourism sector.
"The diplomats are important to help promote tourism and investment," he said.