According to the organizers of the ASEAN Tourism Fair (ATF), some 224 buyers of international travel and 375 Asian travel suppliers have already registered to participate in the Yogyakarta, Central Java, travel exhibition scheduled for January 21-28, 2002.
In order to counteract the negative impact of recent "sweeping" activities in the adjacent community of Surakarta (Solo), Yogyakarta's Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X has used his prerogative as the Sultan of Yogyakarta to proclaim the event as the Royal ATF 2002. Additionally, both the Governor of Yogyakarta and Solo, together with all local police and military authorities, have guaranteed the absolute security of all visitors to the region including the ATF participants. Indicative of local organizer's buoyant optimism regarding this year's event is their projection that some 400 buyers will eventually register for ATF.
The Yogyakarta Government, hoping to restore tourism numbers to Central Java, have invested heavily in the ATF, building a new conference facility covering 10 hectare and costing Rp. 42.5 billion (approximately US$ 4.2 million) capable of handling the expected 1,500 - 1,800 participants. ATF sellers of travel will all originate form the ten member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations which is comprised of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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