JAKARTA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia has set to focus on developing and promoting tourism villages this year, as such an alternative tourism has been proven to be able to survive during a pandemic, the country's Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno said on Friday.
A tourism village is usually described as a village designated to welcome tourists, offering experiences that combine nature, authentic cultures and local life.
Uno said that in the last two years, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of foreign tourists who visited tourism villages across Indonesia increased around 30 to 50 percent, particularly the villages in Central Java and West Java provinces, while other tourism destinations experienced downturns.
Uno said tourism villages had become "pandemic winners" because they mostly offered open nature spaces and not many people flocked to one area, and there were only a small group of villagers who lived there.
"Therefore, we want to make the tourism villages become our flagship program to boost our tourism sectors. We believe they can significantly drive our post-pandemic economic recovery," Uno said in a written statement.
He added that the tourism villages were small and simple destinations, but they could carry huge impacts to Indonesia's tourism sector and support the local enterprises.