Tourism Ministry Supports Tourism-Related SMEs in Labuan Bajo
“With the support of KUR, we hope that small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs engaged in the tourism field, would upgrade themselves, so tourism could become an engine of the people's economy”
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Tourism Ministry has lent support to the development of tourism-related small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) through the micro credit program (KUR) in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Province.
The KUR Program was an instrument to assist in strengthening capital for SME entrepreneurs engaged in the tourism field, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya explained here on Wednesday.
"With the KUR's support, we hope that small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs, engaged in the tourism field, would upgrade themselves, so tourism would become an engine of the people's economy," the minister stated.
Yahya highlighted the need to promote the program across various regions to facilitate entrepreneurs of SMEs to derive optimal benefits, so it can be a leap forward for the tourism industry.
The tourism minister attended an event held by state-owned bank BNI to present the first micro credits to local entrepreneurs involved in tourism-related businesses in Labuan Bajo, NTT, on Tuesday (March 26, 2019).
Between eight and nine million SME entrepreneurs are engaged in tourism businesses. The KUR program offers low-interest micro credits for 44 types of tourism-related economic activities.
"In developing a tourism destination, the public should be made a priority. When the public is ready and the nature is well-preserved, welfare will follow," he pointed out.
The recipients of KUR in Labuan Bajo comprised those involved in producing souvenirs and traditional woven cloth, offering culinary services and tourism boat rentals, as well as those working as travel agents along with those running cafes and homestays.
Suhardi Petrus, CEO of the BNI Denpasar office, stated that in 2014, the BNI had offered micro credits largely to entrepreneurs engaged in culinary arts, and currently, tourism and creative economic entrepreneurs were also included.
Earlier, merely a small fishing site, Labuan Bajo has developed to currently become a gateway to various exotic destinations in NTT.
Interesting attractions around Labuan Bajo comprise the Komodo National Park that serves as a habitat for the giant lizard Komodo dragons and the Mirror Cave, merely four kilometers from Labuan Bajo. A Dutch archaeologist, who had discovered this cave in 1951, arrived at the conclusion that Labuan Bajo was once an underwater site.