Events wanted in post-tsunami Sunda Strait: Indonesia’s tourism minister

Tanjung Lesung, Sunda Strait

To speed up recovery of the tourism industry in the Sunda Strait area hit by a deadly tsunami last month, Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism is now encouraging government agencies and other organisations to hold their events in Anyer and Pandeglang.

A coordination meeting with the local industry and government sectors has been scheduled for January 11.

Tanjung Lesung, Sunda Strait

Arief Yahya, Indonesia Minister of Tourism said: “Our first (marketing) move is to (bring) events here. As the tourism minister, I invite government agencies and (other) organisations to organise their events here.”

The minister believes that the government-led move would speed up recovery, as was the case in Bali post Mount Agung’s eruption and Lombok following the earthquake and tsunami last year.

This is part of a three-step recovery undertaken by the government to get the affected areas on their feet, including trauma healing, institutional and destination rehabilitation as well as destination marketing.

Arief set a goal for the destination to be back on its feet within three months.

A devastating tsunami hit the coasts of Banten and Lampung on December 22, causing damages along the tourism belt of Anyer, Carita, Labuan, Tanjung Lesung and Menes.

The affected areas were closed following the event, but operations gradually resumed from December 24.

According to Guntur Sakti, chairman of the Tourism Crisis Centre of the Ministry of Tourism, 69 hotels and villas were affected.

“Hotels along Carita Beach were the most severely damaged, (some) up to 90 per cent.

“While about 50 accommodations were not (directly) affected, they suffered just the same as no guest came to Carita following the tsunami,” Guntur said, citing data issued on December 25.

Banten, however, is not all about the beach, according to its provincial tourism authority.

Eneng Nuchayadi, head of Banten Tourism Office said: “Banten has many destinations and attractions – natural, cultural and man-made – located in Serang City, Serang Regency, Lebak, Tangerang City and South Tangerang City just to name a few.”

Some of the sites include Batoe Koewoeng hot water bath, the 25m-high Cihear Waterfall within the Halimun Salak mountain area and Banten Grand Mosque.

Tanjung Lesung is one of the 10 New Bali destinations the government has identified, with special economic zone and infrastructural development planned.

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