Jakarta. The Bike to Work Indonesia community, better known as B2W, is offering a different experience during this year's Idul Fitri holiday exodus by promoting bicycles as a form of transportation.
Millions of Indonesians traditionally return to their hometowns to celebrate the end of the fasting month and spend time with their families during the Idul Fitri holiday exodus every year.
As a result, people usually face massive traffic congestion on the way to their hometowns.
"There are 55 people who will travel to their hometowns on bicycles. Some of them will depart alone or in groups, depending on their holiday schedules and destinations," B2W Indonesia chairman Poetoet Soedarjanto said on Wednesday (14/06).
The community has been campaigning the use of bicycles for daily commutes in Jakarta since 2004.
The cycling community's #GowesMudik 2017 event is expected to show that bicycles can also be an alternative means of transportation during the annual exodus.
"The program is available for everyone and every community. The biking activities also show that fasting should not be a reason to be lazy and become unproductive," said Poetoet, who along with four friends, will also use bicycles to travel to their hometowns.
"The five of us will depart to Madiun [in East Java] on June 16. The trip will take five to six days, as we will rest at several tourism destinations along the way, such as the Mrapen eternal flame in Godong district and Ambarawa in Central Java," he said.
In response to the initiative, Esthy Reko Astuti, deputy for marketing development at the Ministry of Tourism, said the positive activities such as these should be encouraged.
"At the ministry, there are three main products to attract tourism: natural tourism, cultural tourism and sports tourism," Esthy said.
"The #GowesMudik2017 initiative is a unique lifestyle choice. [The use of] motorcycles is already mainstream and people may get exercise and visit tourism destinations while returning to their hometowns. We have prepared the best tourism destinations along the way," she added.
However, she added that it is essential that cyclists ride safely as traffic will be heavy on most routes.