Jakarta – Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Abdul Halim Iskandar will oversee the development of tourist destinations in four regencies of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) in anticipation of the MotoGP motorcycle race in Mandalika, Lombok, next year.
The project, for which Rp 9.4 billion (US$642,239) has been allocated, will also entail the development of 787 villages in the four regencies, Abdul said.
"The regencies due for development are situated within the Mandalika Priority Tourism Zone," Abdul said during an online meeting on MotoGP preparations on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
He said his office was focusing on how local communities, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), could benefit from the racing event.
Possible strategies, he said, could include promoting tourist homestays or bolstering digital marketing that exhibited the beauty of the local culture.
"The ministry is also pushing for the marketing of outstanding local products through BUMDs [village-owned businesses] at MotoGP, hotels and other tourist destinations," Abdul said.
In February, the organizers of the 2021 Indonesia MotoGP estimated that the event could earn the country US$15 million from ticket sales and tourism revenue.
Despite the general enthusiasm for MotoGP's projected boost to local tourism, however, the event has raised concerns over a land dispute involving several West Nusa Tenggara residents who have objected to the construction of a racing circuit.
Last month, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) asked the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to temporarily halt the construction of the circuit after the commission's representatives visited the site and met with locals.
Komnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara said the commission had received reports of land disputes from 15 landowners. (rfa)