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Indonesia to develop 500 tourism villages in 2014

A traditional village in Sulawesi (photo by Marisa Estivill)
A traditional village in Sulawesi (photo by Marisa Estivill)

The Indonesian government has revealed plans to develop more than 500 ‘tourism villages’ this year.

The country’s Creative Economic & Tourism Ministry confirmed on Saturday that 561 villages across 19 provinces will be targeted, with tourism facilities and services being developed and local people trained in how to handle tourists.

“We will improve the tourism services offered by the area’s residents and conduct several training sessions,” the ministry’s people empowerment director, Oneng Setya Harini, was quoted saying by the Antara news agency.

Each tourism village will receive IDR75-100 million (US$6,200-8,300) in funding, with training offered in areas including foreign languages, art and culinary skills. The ministry said villages were selected using criteria including tourism potential and accessibility, and whether tourism development would help low-income residents.

“We will consider a village that can become a tourism village by observing the tourism potential in the area,” the Oneng said.

Indonesia hopes to expand its network of tourism villages to approximately 1,400 locations in the future.

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