Kamis, 29 Desember 2016


 Jakarta, Dec 29, 2016 (Antara) - Tourism in Central Sulawesi is now back in business as the provincial government has planned an international cycling and tourism event called Tour de Central Celebes (TdCC), starting next year.
       Celebes is the former name of Sulawesi, one of the four Greater Sunda Islands, and the world's eleventh-largest island, situated between Kalimantan (Borneo) and the Maluku Islands.
        Sectarian conflicts in Poso, Central Sulawesi, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, had slowed down the tourism industry in Central Sulawesi Province.
       But now, peace has returned to the province, which was once known for its inter-faith harmony and tolerance before the conflicts were provoked.
       In March this year, the total solar eclipse phenomenon turned into a free tourism promotion event for the province. Many domestic and foreign tourists came to Sigi District, some 15 km from the Central Sulawesi capital of Palu, to watch the rare natural phenomenon.
        In addition, Central Sulawesi has a number of popular tourist destinations, including mountainous areas, lakes, beaches, and forests. The tourist attractions include Lake Poso; Lore Lindu National Park, which is filled with mysterious megaliths and has a wildlife-rich jungle; Togean National Park; the Salodik and Saluopa Waterfalls; the Morowali Nature Reserve where the Wana people of the jungle live; Talise Beach; and the white-sand Tanjung Karang Beach for divers and beach bums alike.

        To showcase its natural surroundings, the Central Sulawesi administration plans to invite 1.5 thousand domestic and foreign cyclists to participate in the TdCC, to be held in September 2017.
       The number of participants may increase if the event receives adequate promotion, Siti Norma Mardjanu, head of the Central Sulawesi tourism and creative economic office, noted in Palu, recently.
        Invitations will be sent to 250 cyclists from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, the United States, and Europe.
         The remaining 1.25 thousand participants are expected to come from various provinces of Indonesia.
        TdCC is a tourism promotion event, as the participating cyclists will be taken to tourist sites across the province and will be introduced to the local culture, traditions, and culinary dishes of Central Sulawesi, she remarked.
         The TdCC route stretches 300 km from Tojouna-una District to Palu City against a backdrop of mountains, lakes, hills, rivers, waterfalls, and valleys.
        The cyclists will also be entertained with traditional dances and songs of South Sulawesi.
       The Palu legislative council (DPRD) has expressed its support for the plan to organize the Tour.
        The DPRD, as a partner of the local government, will help make the international cycling event a success, Zailzulmida Djanggola, head of the Central Sulawesi DPRD, confirmed.
        She was optimistic that the sports and tourism event would benefit the local people.
         The Central Sulawesi administration and parliament had informed the tourism minister of the plan to hold the TdCC, and he supported the idea, promising to allocate funds from the 2017 state budget for its promotion.
         Head of the Central Sulawesi Tourism and Creative Economic Office Siti Norma Mardjanu noted that several meetings had been held with the tourism minister to discuss the tour.
       The tour will start in Ampana and finish in Palu City, covering four districts and one city.    
  Norma added that the cyclists would pass through the districts of Tojo-Unauna, Poso, and Parigi Moutong, the city of Palu, and the regency of Sigi in 10 days.
       The five district and city administrations are helping with preparations for the TdCC, including refurbishing tourist sites and preparing for visits to creative industry and cultural centers.
        "The district of Poso, for example, will prepare the festival of Lake Poso in 2017," Norma stated.
       Meanwhile, the provincial administration of Central Sulawesi revealed that the TdCC was expected to help achieve the region's tourism earnings target.
        "Yes, Tour de Central Celebes is designed not merely as a sports event but also to show the world the natural and cultural beauty of Central Sulawesi, with the ultimate goal of attracting foreign tourists," Assistant II in charge of economy and development at the provincial administration secretariat Bunga Somba confirmed.
           He said annual activities, such as the Festival of the Togean Islands and the Festival of Lake Poso, would be conducted in a number of districts to coincide with the tour.
         Each team of participants will have 40 cyclists, both local and foreign. The cycling track will run through various tourist destinations and sites, including marine tourism attractions.
         "The participants, therefore, will enjoy the tourist sites and cultural beauty of the region," Bunga remarked.
        Other regions in the country also held cycling races earlier this year in a bid to attract foreign tourists, such as the Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra and the Tour de Flores in East Nusa Tenggara.
    (f001/INE   )

(T.F001/A/BESSR/A. Abdussalam) 29-12-2016

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