Wednesday, March 14, 2018

BANYUWANGI GEARS UP FOR IMF-WB ANNUAL MEETINGS by Fardah

Jakarta, March 14, 2018 (Antara) - Banyuwangi District, which is located across Bali Island, is gearing up for the IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting, which will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali Province, in October 2018.
         The district, located in the eastern tip of East Java Province, has been designated as a supporting region for the world¿s largest and most influential finance and economic gathering.
         The meetings are expected to be attended by 15 thousand people from 189 countries, with several of the participants landing in Banyuwangi airport.
        Banyuwangi is eager to showcase its tourist destinations, natural resources, and investment opportunities to some participants of the annual meetings who might land on its international airports.
         Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, earlier this month, had visited Banyuwangi to check the preparations being made to welcome the participants. 
    "I have noticed that Banyuwangi is very much ready to welcome tourists. The city is clean, orderly, and has a lot of potential that could be utilized," the minister, who was accompanied by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Governor of Bank Indonesia (BI) Agus Martowardojo, remarked on March 1.
        Pandjaitan, who is the chairman of the national organizing committee of the IMF-WB Annual Meetings, lauded Banyuwangi as being the most ready.
        The two ministers and the central bank¿s governor held a coordinating minister with Abdullah Azwar Anas, the district head of Banyuwangi, to discuss the preparations for the international gathering.

       They also discussed a plan to construct a cable car and other public facilities in Ijen crater area, repair roads to Alas Purwo, and renovate the facilities in Marina Boom.
         Following the meeting, the high-ranking officials from Jakarta visited Oseng Kemiren traditional village in Glagah sub-district.
        They also tried Arabica coffee from a local coffee plantation prior to embarking on a journey to the Kawah Ijen Volcano to see the famous blue sculpture flame. Dazzling, electric-blue fire can often be seen streaming down the mountain, at night in particular. The glow is actually the light formed due to the combustion of sulfuric gases.
         At the top of the volcano is the Kawah Ijen Crater Lake, which is the world's largest water body filled with hydrochloric acid. In fact, it is the acid that makes the water green. As the burning gases cool, they deposit sulfur around the lake.
          Pandjaitan asked the Banyuwangi district head to build better public facilities, including toilets, in the Ijen area, as many of the IMF-WB meeting¿s participants are high-class tourists.
         The two ministers and the BI governor also checked the Banyuwangi Airport, which was developed two years ago based on a green construction approach at a cost of Rp45 billion.
         He remarked that most materials for building the airport were of used wood. The airport is designed to resemble a traditional tropical house of the local tribe, with an open-air concept that reduces dependency on air conditioners. Each of the airport's corners has a fish pool.
        "It is great. The airport is suitable to welcome international delegates," Minister Indrawati noted.
        Around 12,000 up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the Annual Meetings, including about 3,500 delegates from 189 member countries, roughly 1,000 media representatives, and more than 5,000 participants representing the private sector, the banking community, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and also observers and parliamentarians.     
   The Annual Meetings will also feature side events, such as seminars, investment forum, workshop, and cultural events.
         The opportunity to host the Annual Meetings brings many benefits to the host country, including increased tourism and investment and business opportunities that last long after the meetings are over.
           Banyuwangi has intensified tourism promotion activities to attract more foreign tourists, as an effort to help Indonesia achieve its target of receiving at least 17 million foreign tourists this year, and 20 million in 2019.
         This year, the Banyuwangi District Administration plans to organize 77 events, including three major events, which are included in the 2018 Calendar of 100 Events of Wonderful Indonesia.
         The three main events are  Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival (BEC), International Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen (ITdBI) cycling race, and Gandrung Sewu. 
    Last year, Banyuwangi received some 91 thousand foreign tourists contributing Rp546 billion in foreign exchange, an increase from 77 thousand foreign tourists and four million domestic tourists in the previous year.  In 2017, Banyuwangi organized 72 festivals and carnivals.
           Other tourism events to be held by Banyuwangi this year include Beach Jazz Festival, Jazz Ijen, Lunar Festival on March 17, Dance Festival on March 31, Fishing Festival on April 7, Chocolate Festival on May 12, and Kuntulajn Festival on October 3-6. ***1***
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