Indonesia unveils plans to link ASEAN cultural sites

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Tourists at Indonesia’s Borobudur temple
Tourists at Indonesia’s Borobudur temple

The Indonesian Tourism Ministry has unveiled a new plan that aims to develop multi-centre cultural tour packages across the ASEAN region.

The new integrated tour packages will draw on the shared histories and cultures of ASEAN countries to drive tourists to complementary destinations across Southeast Asia.

For example, the ministry said it plans to package the ‘Cheng Ho Maritime Route’, which follows the Southeast Asian journeys of the ancient Chinese mariner, with sites in Vietnam and Malaysia.

“We think we should have a product that connects all the destinations, with a minimum of three countries,” ministry’s assistant deputy for cultural tourism destination development, Lokot Ahmad Enda, was quoted saying by the Jakarta Post.

Other packages could connect Hindu and Buddhist sites such as the Borobudur Temple and Angkor Wat.

The ASEAN packages form part of Indonesia’s aim to receive 12 million cultural visits by 2019.

“Getting 12 million foreign visitors for cultural, religious and historical tourism is very hard to do alone,” Lokot admitted.

The full range of integrated tour packages is likely to be launched during ASEAN’s 50th anniversary in 2017.
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