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The Need to Be More Festive

Minister Ardika Calls on Provinces to Hold Cultural Festivals to Support Tourism.

(7/26/2004) Indonesia's Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mr. I Gede Ardika, has called on provincial governments to hold local festivals as a means to earn income for local economies while at the same time helping efforts to conserve local cultures.

Quoted by the Indonesian language Bisnis Indonesia, Minister Ardika said, "Cultural festivals which are now a part of our calendar of events, such as the Borobudur Festival, Bali Arts Festival, Senggigi Festival, Krakatau Festival and the Sriwijaya Festival need to become the structure for new creations from professional arts groups."

The Minister went on to explain how UNESCO has begun to appreciate the value and need to develop cultural enterprise through the inclusion of cultural activities in the calculations of the Tourism Satellite Account - a system used to measure the financial contribution of tourism to all sectors of the economy.

Senggigi Festival

The Minister applauded the hosting of the Senggigi Festival, recently concluded in West Lombok, which not only included performance and cultural exhibitions but also made efforts to include the local community in the event. Such an approach, according to the Minister, results in events that are from the people and for the people.

During the recent Senggigi Festival, the fourth time the event was held, there were a wide variety of events including dance contests and speech competitions in English organized on the theme of Lombok tourism. The Minister said such activities create tourism awareness among the people and show appreciation for local cultural activities. He went on to say that if local festivals can be conducted with high levels of local participation the cultural uniqueness of each region will be preserved and able to successfully confront the growing pressures of globalization.