Tourism icons in Gunung Kidul District in the Special Region of Yogyakarta are being further beautified to boost the number of tourist arrivals in 2017.
Hoping to attract more local and foreign tourists this year, the government of Gunung Kidul District will continue to encourage tourism development by building several parks and statues at the corner of every street.
In addition, garden ornaments, such as statues and fountains, will be built at every corner of the street in Gunung Kidul similar to the one in Putat Village to increase tourist visits.
At a park at the Yogyakarta-Wonosari junction in Putat Village, the Gunung Kidul Environment Office has erected a statue of a dancing man wearing a "pentul" mask at a budget of Rp93 million.
Local Environment Office spokesman Irawan Djatmiko remarked in Gunung Kidul that construction of the statue will be completed before the Eid al-Fitr holiday this year, so that the holidaymakers and tourists can enjoy its view.
The "pentul" mask, worn on the statue of a dancing man, is part of the culture and symbolizes "abdi dalem," the loyal servant, in Gunung Kidul.
Djatmiko noted that the four-meter-tall statue in the park at the Yogyakarta-Wonosari junction was expected to add to the glory of the entry gate of Gunung Kidul from the west side.
In collaboration with the local Environment Office, the Gunung Kidul Culture and Tourism Office will later build more parks and statues, including a park, with a statue of a beach volleyball athlete at the Sepanjang Beach using a budget of Rp400 million.
In the meantime, Gunung Kidul Culture and Tourism Office spokesman Hary Sukmono remarked that several tourist attractions will continue to be enhanced, so that the tourists visiting Gunung Kidul can feel at home and happy to stay longer.
Sukmono expressed hope that during the 2017 Eid holidays, the number of tourists visiting Gunung Kidul would surpass that of the previous year.
In the week during the 2016 Eid holidays, around 250,000 tourists had visited numerous tourist attractions in Gunung Kidul District, according to Sukmono.
He explained that based on the reports received from several tourist attractions , the total revenue generated from 250,000 tourists visiting the areas amounted to Rp1.57 billion.
However, he acknowledged that the number of tourists visiting Gunung Kidul during the Eid holidays in 2016 had dropped slightly from 362 thousand during the same period in 2015, but the figure is expected to be much higher this year.
During the Easter holidays on April 14-16, 2017, tourist attractions in Gunung Kidul were visited by 47,000 local and foreign tourists.
The total revenue generated from 47 thousand tourists visiting the tourist attractions in Gunung Kidul amounted to Rp411 million, or exceeded the target of Rp400 million.
The long Easter holidays in April this year have contributed to an increase in the number of visitors to Gunung Kidul to explore the various scenic beaches, caves, scenery, and waterfalls in the district.
Gunung Kidul has several natural tourist attractions, such as the Ngrancah waterfall in Ngleri Village, along with the pristine beaches of Gesing, Ngrenehan, Ngobaran, and Baron, in addition to Krakal, Sunduk, Watu Lawang, Drini, and Sepanjang.
The Gunung Kidul local government in Yogyakarta is making efforts to promote and develop the districts tourist spots under the framework of its tourism investment development mission that will focus on natural, village, cultural, and special-interest tourism.
Gunung Kidul District is blessed with several natural, marine, and cultural attractions that continue to attract tourists from around the world.
Hence, the local government is making all-out efforts to develop the district into a leading tourist destination by preparing a coastal tourism master plan.
Gunung Kidul is endowed with several pristine beaches, and most of them still require effective management to transform them into national and international tourist destinations and large investments both from the government for infrastructure as well as from the private sector for the development of hotels, resorts, golf courses, and restaurants.
Gunung Kidul Regional Secretary Drajat Ruswandono has stated that for the preparation of the coastal tourism master plan, all stakeholders, including the tour operators and Yogyakarta Palace officials, will be involved to discuss the management of all coastal areas in the district.
After the formulation of the coastal tourism master plan is completed, a detailed technical plan will be created to manage the beaches for tourism and economic activities and residential areas.
The Gunung Kidul district government is making efforts to promote and develop the districts tourist spots under the framework of its tourism investment development mission.
Gunung Kidul also has some popular tourism villages, such as Putat, Nglanggeran, Bendung, Ngeposari, Beji, Bleberan, Umbulrejo, and Kemadang.