Majapahit kingdom traces to be developed as tourist attractions
Agnes S. Jayakarna , THE JAKARTA POST , SURABAYA | Mon, 10/05/2009 1:24 PM | East Java
In cooperation with other related institutions, the East Java Tourism Agency is to develop the remains of the ancient Majapahit Kingdom, which spreads across the province's 11 regencies, as attractive destinations for tourists visiting East Java.
Agency head of tourism product development section Rudy Priyanto Oetomo said recently his office pledged to conduct the development in its bid to improve the province's tourism industry.
"We will dig up any potential in our municipalities and regencies to support and develop the industry."
He added his office would also develop projects in other regions.
The 650th Majapahit anniversary organizing committee had previously recommended that the provincial administration develop the ruins of the ancient civilization as tourist destinations.
Chairman of the committee Harnan Pamungkas assured that all of the kingdom's traces across the province's 11 regencies had their own uniqueness and historical value.
He expressed confidence tourists would be attracted to visit the traces once they were well developed like the Borobudur Temple in Central Java and Hindu temples in Bali.
"Doing so hopefully will also help reintroduce Majapahit to the youth and make them more aware of our history."
He added the historical legacy would be lost if they were not developed and reintroduced to people worldwide. People would only be aware of their existence when they were familiar with the objects.
Based on poet Empu Prapanca's script, Harnan said, King Hayam Wuruk of Majapahit had visited 11 regions between 1359 and 1361 in East Java, which were now known as the traces of the kingdom.
The 11 regions include Malang, Jombang, Kediri, Blitar, Mojokerto, Pasuruan, Probolinggo, Lumajang, Jember, Bondowoso and Situbondo.
Harnan said rich nature and culture had boosted the development of the province's tourism industry.
The blend of natural beauty and cultural uniqueness in the mountain ranges of Tengger, Bromo, Semeru and Raung in the border area of Probolinggo and Lumajang, he said, had been very popular among tourists visiting the province.
Rudy Priyanto expressed appreciation that more and more people had now been more aware of and were willing to participate in the development of tourism in East Java.
He expressed confidence such support would help speed up the development, which his office hoped to aid by conducting a number of events to push the municipal and regency administrations across the province to dig up their respective potentials in the tourism sector.
Rudy also said that apart from focusing on nature and culture in developing the tourism sector in the province, the provincial administration had also started developing culinary attractions.
"In cooperation with other concerning institutions, we have held a culinary festival in a bid to help explore the province's culinary wealth."