The Lampung provincial administration is seeking endorsement for Mt. Anak Krakatau to be included in the Unesco’s Global Geopark Network (GGN) so the volcano and the Krakatau Islands Natural Park can become more internationally recognized.
According to Lampung Tourism Office head Gatot Hudi Utomo, “with the inclusion of Mt. Anak Krakatau in the GGN, we are hoping that more tourists will visit Lampung,” Gatot was speaking during his visit to the 22nd Krakatau Festival, held from Oct. 6 to Oct. 13.
“The Krakatau Festival, which we have been organizing for the past 20 years, is part of our efforts toward the goal,” Gatot said on Monday.
“In the last several years, the Krakatau Festival has invited envoys from foreign countries. The exotic Mt. Anak Krakatau and Krakatau Islands are as beautiful as other tourist objects in Indonesia,” he continued.
He said that his agency had coordinated the matter with the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry to get an endorsement from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).
“We must compete with other areas in Indonesia because the selection process is very strict,” said Gatot.
According to Gatot, the Krakatau Festival is expected to paint a positive image of Lampung as a tourist destination to investors and visitors.
“Besides that, it is aimed at increasing domestic and foreign tourist arrivals in Lampung,” he added.
The main agenda of the festival is the Krakatau Tour (Oct. 7). The festival, which opened on Oct. 6, was marked by cultural events including the Tapis Carnival.
During the Tapis Carnival, a number of garments made from traditional tapis fabric and designed by a number of talented designers in Lampung were displayed.
During the opening ceremony on Saturday, the ministry’s Cultural and Tourism Development director-general Firmansyah Rahim said Mt. Anak Krakatau was worthy of being proposed to the Unesco to be included in the GGN.
“Mt. Anak Krakatau, I believe, is very commendable and should be included in the GGN. However, it must go through a tight selection process. We hope Unesco approves the proposal,” said Firmansyah.
Among Anak Krakatau’s competitors are Mt. Rinjani in West Nusa Tenggara and Lake Toba in North Sumatra. So far, only Lake Batur in Bali has been included in the GGN.
Lampung is also currently busy promoting itself as a tourist destination. Lampung will also be participating in the 2012 Tourism Indonesia Mart and Expo (TIME), which will be held from Oct. 9 to Oct. 12.
“We will also improve infrastructure and facilities, especially tourist facilities and objects in the province so we could become an international tourist destination and draw lots of foreign visitors as well as spur development in tourism and other aspects,” said Gatot.
Tourism and Creative Economy Deputy Minister Sapta Nirwandar said Lampung could become the best alternative tourism market in Indonesia given its abundance in natural resources, including flora and fauna, culture, creative industries and unique culinary arts.
“It is also very close to Jakarta. After hosting the TIME exposition twice, I hope Lampung could become an international tourist destination as well as draw investors to build hotels and develop other tourism products,” said Sapta.