The Ministry of Tourism has brought 15 foreign tour operators to participate in a familiarization trip to Yogyakarta and Central Java's Solo and Semarang on June 15-18. (Antara Photo)

Govt to Only Allow 15 Visitors at a Time at Borobudur Temple

AUGUST 30, 2016

Jakarta. The government plans to limit the number of visitors who will be allowed access to Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to only 15 at any given time, an official said on Tuesday (30/08).

State-run Antara news agency quoted Nadjamuddin Ramly, the director of heritage and cultural diplomacy at the Ministry of Education and Culture, as saying that there are concerns about the preservation of the ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist temple. He said the Unesco World Heritage Site often receives hundreds of visitors, who all enter the at the same time, which may affect the building's structural integrity.

He said the government will issue a regulation that limits the number of people allowed to enter at any given time. The figure of 15 is based on research data related to the structural capacity of the building.

Nadjamuddin said visitors often also lack discipline and that many do not really appreciate the historic and cultural value of one of the world's greatest Buddhist monuments.

"Many people litter anywhere they want. They throw their cigarette butts everywhere and some even urinate there. There are also some companies have commercial filming sessions without permits," he said.

"Some time ago, the company that sells Red Bull energy drinks produced a video clip at Borobudur without permission. We sent them a protest letter and they have since apologized. As a penalty, they are now required to perform corporate social responsibility activities over there," Nadjamuddin added.

He said the temple management does not have enough security officers to enforce the rules, so the government plans to intensify visitor education to preserve the site.

"We plan to train young people to become cultural ambassadors to carry out the message that we need to protect heritage sites," he said.