Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno has outlined plans for tourism development on the border with Papua Nuew Guinea (PNG), as the two neighbouring countries explore tourism opportunities with development potential.
According to Uno, his ministry will collaborate with Skouw Cross-Border Post (PLBN) in Jayapura, Papua. Working closely with Chief Administrator Yan Numberi, the government will invest in restoring the Skouw PLBN to its previous (pre-pandemic) state, when the border region welcomed around 1,500 foreign tourists each year.
“We (plan to) carry out two agendas to revive the tourism sector and the creative economy in border areas,” said the minister in a recent statement. “The first agenda is the improvement of tourism infrastructure and the creative economy within the framework of the Special Allocation Fund (DAK) that will be proposed in collaboration with the Jayapura City Tourism Service,” he added.
In addition, Uno plans to put on a cross-cultural border festival later this year, to showcase the arts, cultures, music and films from both Indonesia and PNG, along with a bazaar featuring products from micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and sporting events, including fun runs and other activities. The event is expected to draw crowds of around 2,000 tourists.
“Later, we will also cooperate with the Papua Youth Creative Hub that was just launched in Jayapura. I believe the fun run will attract many people with its own charm because the run will be covering two countries,” he noted. The MSMEs bazaar in particular is expected to provide a boost to the local economy, and forms part of wider plans to create 4.4 million tourism jobs by 2024.
With new investment secured, regeneration projects in the pipeline and a celebratory festival on the horizon, the Papuan border of Indonesia will soon take centre stage in the tourism landscape.