Sikka Regency is Ready to Become ASEAN Tourism Destination

Director of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Cooperation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JS George Lantu (left), when meeting with Sikka Regent, Yoseph Ansar Rera (center), Wednesday (7/6).

Sikka, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) - "Sikka regency is ready to become ASEAN tourism destination, so it is expected that local people can gain maximum benefit in accordance to the potential in the regency," said Sikka Regent, Drs. Yosep Ansar Rera when receiving Director of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JS George Lantu who was accompanied by officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Women Empowerment and Children Protection, and Ministry of Environment and Forestry at Sikka Regent Office, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) in preparation for the 50th ASEAN Anniversary in Sikka Regency, NTT (7/6).

The potential of coral reefs in Maumere Bay, artistic religious rituals and cultural works such as Tenun Ikat are the primary assets of tourism potential of Sikka Regency since the last few decades. "Biodiversity and cultural as well as rituals richness become the pride of the Sikka people that would make Sikka more known by the international community, including ASEAN," continued Regent Ansar.

Sikka Regency also has other excellent products, especially in the agricultural sector, such as cocoa, cashew and coconut. "80% of the Sikka Regency populations are farmers," said Regent Ansar. Meanwhile, the area is also rich in marine fishery products, especially tuna, skipjack and grouper.

Maumere Sea Region has been well known to wider community since the 1990s. However, due to the Tsunami in 1992, this marine area suffered damage in some parts. "But thanks to international cooperation, the Maumere Sea area is gradually starting to recover and even last year, Sikka Regency held a photo contest attended by international photographers from 10 countries," continued Regent Ansar.

"The Maumere Bay Conservation Area and the Sikka River Conservation Area should be an attraction for tourists, both domestic and foreign," added J. S. George Lantu. Thus, the region is believed to be able to further improve the economy and welfare of local community. This can be seen in the Thousand Islands National Park and Wakatobi National Park which were ratified at the 27th ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB) meeting in Brunei Darussalam on March 14-15 2017 as ASEAN Park.

This activity is part of the effort to enliven the 50th ASEAN Anniversary to all regions in Indonesia. Preparation activities to welcome the 50th ASEAN Anniversary is planned to begin with a flag raising ceremony of 10 ASEAN member countries and 1 ASEAN flag in Sikka Regency office which will be led by Regent Ansar (8/6).

Another important event is Focus Group Discussion (FGD) which aimed at capturing local inputs and recommendations for ASEAN process in the future. Exhibitions of special cloths of ASEAN member countries, radio talk shows and public lectures to local universities and will be complemented by a meeting with high school are the agenda of the preparation series for the 50th ASEAN Anniversary in Sikka Regency which will take place from June 8-9, 2017. (Source: Directorate of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Cooperation)