Promoting Garut`s Tourism Potentials

The town of Garut - West Java, possessed an alluring nature tourist attractions that have yet to be discovered.

Back in the day, Garut was known as `Switzerland van Java` or Java`s very own Switzerland and it held such a large opportunity to be visited by both domestic and international tourists, should the central and provincial government heavily promoted the spot.

Without wasting any more time, the Ministry of Tourism, in cooperation with provincial government of Garut, is organizing the 2018 Garut Cultural Charm (Gebyar Pesona Budaya Garut 2018), scheduled to be held from February 20 to 27, at the same time commemorating the 205th anniversary of Garut sub-district.

During the event, Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya stated that the development of Attraction, Accessibility and Amenity (3A) concept could support Garut in becoming a world class destination.

Attractions that catch the interest of tourists should surely be packaged in such creative ways, ensuring that they could woo visitors and invite them in, rather than discouraging them.

There was also the issue of accessibility. An adequate tourist attraction is one that could be easily approached. This aspect needed special attention considering that tourists are less likely to visit a certain spot if the journey took more than two hours.

For that reason, the people of Garut should strive to discover access to their town from airports that are less than two hours away. For example, it took 5 hours to reach Garut from Jakarta, but it only took 2 hours from Bandung.

Meanwhile, the issue of amenities is related to various facilities that could offer comfort and security to visitors.

Tne Ministry of Tourism packaged the event into `100 Calendar of Events Wonderful Indonesia 2018` which had become one of the attraction guideline aimed at inviting foreign tourists into the country.

Curation of tourist destinations was also emphasized in addition to the 3A concept, as it needed to ensure a world class quality, in order to turn Garut into an international destination.

Considering that the town had been included in the list of promotions activity, quality of showcase need to be continuously improved.

For that reason, the Ministry will organize specialty classes in the form of workshops for event organizers that had been included in the Calendar of events.

Looking at Garut`s geographical condition and characteristics, the concept of Nomadic tourism seem to be fitting to be applied in Garut.

The Minister further stated that Garut`s wealth in natural landscape should not be covered with the development of permanent buildings, which is why the Nomadic concept would suit the town better as 80 percent of Garut`s area is made up of nature conservation.

The concept itself could be implemented through caravans, glamorous camping or `glamcamp`, as well as home port.

Caravans are considerably flexible as they are vehicles that double as living spaces, while glamcamp would allow tourists to enjoy Garut`s natural treasure while enjoying a luxuriously designed accommodation.

Indonesia could model after the United States, Australia and New Zealand which had successfully developed Caravan lodges, he added.

The development of Nomadic tourism could turn into tourism sale value more quickly compared to building hotels and permanent buildings that could take three to five years.

Another matter that needed the attention of the people of Garut was awareness towards tourism, specifically its potentials to bring in economical benefits and generator of welfare.

They should then heighten hospitality in order to ensure that they get the maximum benefits that could be generated from the tourism sector.

The tourism sector had given many advantages to the people, as previously happened in a number of other areas in Indonesia.

Government`s Commitment

The Government, through the Ministry of Tourism, is committed in building Indonesia`s tourism sector, including in the sub-district of Garut, in which there need to be expansion in order to gain attractiveness towards tourists.

For that reason, both the provincial government and the people need to be aware of the potentials of the area, which could then be developed into tourist destinations that are worth visiting.

The provincial government need to also handle issues of illegal levies around the attraction areas in order to create a safe and secure environment for tourists.

The number of foreign tourist visits to attractions in Garut was recorded to reach 4,983 people in 2016, while the number of domestic tourists reached 671,858 people.

In the last four years, the sub-district of Garut had experienced the highest GDP growth in 2016 with 5.85 percent.

The 16th Garut Cultural Charm (Gebyar Pesona Budaya Garut 2018) event marked the provincial government`s commitment in the efforts to maintain, conserve, develop and utilize the nation`s cultural arts, in a bid to further enhance culture and traditions, at the same time introducing Garut`s seeded traditional art to the public.

The event is enlivened by various performances and showcases which involve representatives from 7 provinces and 10 sub-districts from all across Indonesia, as well as performers from 20 art and culture communities and nine cultural groups, among others.

As a sideline function to the event, there would also be Garut Auto Expo Festival, scheduled to be held in the Anarto Mall Garut from March 1 to 3, in which antique automotive communities from Indonesia are participating.

Source : Antara – Ahmad Wijaya and Aria Cindyara

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