Banyuwangi, Java’s Easternmost Region with A Million Charm


Penulis:  (Ida/S4-25) - 29 October 2018, 05:25 WIB
DOK KEMENPAR
DOK KEMENPAR

FOLLOWING the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB)’s working group in Bali, 8-14 October, Indonesia is kicking off preparations for the arrival of Our Ocean Conference (OOC) delegates in Bali, 29-30 October 2018.

World’s leaders are scheduled to attend the conference, including the Prince of Monaco, President of Timor Leste, President of Palau, Vice President of Panama, and Vice President of Seychelles. Marine and Fisheries as well as Foreign Affairs Ministers from 22 other countries are also expected to join the meeting. In total, Indonesia prepares to welcome an estimated 1,900 delegates from around the world.

The arrival of foreign delegates should be taken as an opportunity for Indonesia to promote the country’s many tourist attraction highlights. Also, to increase the number of foreign tourists to Indonesia and meet its target of accommodating 17 million international tourists this year.
The tourism industry, under the supervision of Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, is currently on the rise. Through the branding campaign “Wonderful Indonesia,” the archipelago’s tourism shows increasing performance year by year. Tourism is now the second largest foreign exchange contributor, after palm oil or just ahead of the oil and gas sector which is on the third place.

In 2015 tourism was in the fourth place on the most significant foreign exchange contributors list. In 2016, foreign exchange from tourism alone reached US$13.5 billion a year. The following year, it rocketed to US$16.8 billion. The figure is predicted to rise by 20 percent to around US$20 billion this year.

The boom in the tourism sector is inseparable from the rise of incoming international tourists. According to the National Statistics Agency or BPS, the number of foreign tourists visiting the country continues to rise. In 2017, international tourist arrivals were recorded at 14.04 million people. That number is up 21.88 percent from the previous year, which was estimated at around 11.52 million.

Minister Yahya said that the success is the result of a number of strategies. First was promotional with Branding, Advertising, and Selling strategy or BAS. Second was the so-called Destination, Organization, and Timeline strategy or DOT. “All of that success must also be supported by media strategy, POSE, which are Paid Own, Social media, and Endorser,” he said. With this set of strategies, Arief said he hopes that Indonesia can achieve its “20 million international tourists by 2019” goal that was launched by President Joko Widodo.

Banyuwangi Tourism Potential
Banyuwangi is one of the rising stars of tourist attractions in the country. The easternmost regency of Java island was designated as a supporting region for Bali in welcoming the delegates of IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings earlier this month. The government estimated that  around 2,000 delegates from all over the world visited Banyuwangi during the event. Spending approximately Rp3.5 million per night (US$230) and staying for a minimum of two nights. Furthermore, the presence of international bank executives, as well as state officials in Banyuwangi, was an extraordinary promotion opportunity for the region’s tourism industry, as well as its local economy.

Banyuwangi has received well-deserved attention since the East Java regent has a million of natural charms to offer. The region is surrounded by forests, national parks, hills, as well as unique and attractive cultural traditions.

Banyuwangi’s success in drawing in tourists is partially due to the local governments’ innovations in developing the tourism sector. The regency was awarded an innovation accolade for tourism development from the ASEAN Tourism Standard Award. It also received an award  for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance from the United Nations World Tourism Organization or UNWTO in 2016.

Mr Yahya said Banyuwangi still has an adequate tourism carrying capacity. However, he is committed to pushing Banyuwangi even further to be a world-class destination by 2019. Picking Banyuwangi was not without reason. According to BPS, in 2017 Banyuwangi already saw a significant rise in tourism.

The number of  domestic tourists has quadrupled in three years, from 1,363,530 visitors in 2014 to 4,832,999 in 2017. Meanwhile, the number of international tourists have also soared from 30,068 in 2014 to 98,970 in 2017. Improvements in infrastructures have also followed the increase of Banyuwangi’s tourism in the past few years.

Banyuwangi’s airport runway has undergone an expansion for up to 2,250 meters to accommodate bigger aircraft as well as more flights. Aside from additional direct flight routes, various accommodations ranging from starred-hotels to homestays are now available. Not only that, access to many tourist attractions have recently been opened to improve tourists’ mobility within the region.

Geographically, Banyuwangi is located in the middle of natural wonders that is still thick with lush green, and wild environment like the African safari. It is also close to the Indian ocean. Dubbed the Sun Rise of Java, Banyuwangi has a lot of tourist attractions, including  those worthy of international attention. One of them is the Ijen Crater with its blue fire, Plengkung Beach, Pulau Merah Beach, Baluran National Park, and Bedul Mangrove Forest.

Blue Fire
The Ijen crater is one of the only two locations in the world where tourists can witness the “blue fire” a natural phenomenon of neon blue flames in the crater aside from Iceland. The blue fire charm of the 200-meter deep and 5,466-hectare wide crater is already known worldwide. A lot of international tourists visited the crater.

Aside from Ijen crater and its blue fire, Banyuwangi also has a beautiful beach, the Plengkung Beach. Nicknamed G-Land, it is located inside Alas Purwo National Park area and sits face-to-face with the Indian Ocean. The waves at this beach earned its nickname, the Seven Giant Waves Wonder, for its seven rolls of waves that could reach up to 6 meters high.

Other tourist attractions that sure well worth the visit is the Baluran National park. Situated in the borders of Banyuwangi and Situbondo regency, East Java, the park is also called “Little African Savanna” due to its hot savanna. Yellowish scenic grasses grow wildly in many parts of this 25,000-hectare national park, while the Mount Baluran backdrop adds to its magnificence.

Gandrung Sewu
Not only offering world-class tourist attractions, Banyuwangi also has a fascinating cultural tradition, the Gandrung Sewu. Mr Yahya said the Gandrung Sewu showcases three prominent points of an art performance: cultural, creativity and commercial values. Involving 1,000 to 1,200 dancers, the colossal event truly entices domestic and foreign tourists that during every Gandrung Sewu performance, all flights, hotels and restaurants are fully booked.

Therefore, Mr Yahya said, it was indeed the right decision to include Gandrung Sewu in the 100 Wonderful Event Indonesia 2018. “It has a great configuration, the event provides the best photo opportunities,” Mr. Yahya said in a written statement in Jakarta. Every year, he added, Gandrung Sewu has always been anticipated and received high support from tourists. The event has also been sought after by photographers from both national and international media that further escalates Gandrung Sewu’s prestige. (Ida/S4-25)

 

Banyuwangi, Sejuta Pesona di Ujung Timur Jawa

 

SETELAH pertemuan tahunan International Monetary Fund (IMF) dan World Bank (WB) di Bali, 8-14 Oktober lalu, Indonesia bersiap menerima kehadiran delegasi Our Ocean Conference (OOC) di Bali pada 29-30 Oktober 2018. Sejumlah pemimpin negara yang bakal hadir di antaranya Pangeran Monako, Presiden Timor Leste, Presiden Palau, Wakil Presiden Panama, dan Wakil Presiden Seychelles. Sebanyak 22 negara lain akan diwakili menteri kelautan dan perikanan atau menteri luar negeri mereka. Diperkirakan perhelatan itu dihadiri sekitar 1.900 delegasi.

Kehadiran para delegasi itu tentu harus dimanfaatkan dengan baik untuk menarik mereka mengunjungi sejumlah objek wisata andalan di Indonesia. Kehadiran mereka diharapkan mendongkrak target 17 juta wisatawan mancanegara pada tahun ini. Industri pariwisata di bawah komando Menteri Pariwisata Arief Yahya memang tengah naik daun.

Melalui branding  Wonderful Indonesia, pariwisata Nusantara menunjukkan performa yang semakin meningkat setiap tahun. Kini, pariwisata menjadi tambang devisa nasional terbesar kedua setelah minyak kelapa sawit atau di atas migas yang berada pada posisi ketiga. Pada 2016, devisa pariwisata mencapai US$13,5 miliar per tahun. Padahal, pada 2015 pariwisata masih bertengger di peringkat keempat sebagai sektor penyumbang devisa terbesar. Pada 2017, sumbangan devisa dari sektor pariwisata melesat menjadi sekitar US$16,8 miliar.

Angka itu  diprediksi naik 20% menjadi sekitar US$20 miliar pada 2018. Melesatnya sektor pariwisata tidak terlepas dari peningkatan jumlah kunjungan wisatawan mancanegara (wisman). Berdasarkan data Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), kunjungan wisman ke Indonesia terus naik.

Pada 2017, wisman yang berkunjung sebanyak 14,04 juta orang. Angka itu naik 21,88% dari 2016 yang berada di kisaran 11,52 juta orang. Menteri Pariwisata Arief Yahya menyatakan keberhasilan itu tidak lepas dari penerapan sejumlah strategi. Pertama, strategi promosi dengan BAS (branding, advertising, dan selling). Kedua, strategi marketing dengan DOT, yakni destinasi, organisasi, dan timeline. “Semua kesuksesan itu harus didukung juga melalui strategi media dengan Pose, yakni paid own, social media, dan endorser,” paparnya.
Dengan strategi itu, Arief berharap Indonesia mampu memenuhi target 20 juta wisman pada 2019 yang dicanangkan Presiden Joko Widodo.

Potensi wisata Banyuwangi
Salah satu daerah wisata yang kini tengah naik daun ialah Banyuwangi. Wilayah yang terletak di ujung timur Pulau Jawa tersebut ditetapkan sebagai pendukung Bali dalam menyambut pertemuan IMF dan World Bank. Diperkirakan saat perhelatan tahun itu sekitar 2.000 delegasi

mancanegara berkunjung ke Banyuwangi, dengan mengeluarkan sekitar Rp3,5 juta per malam, menginap selama minimal dua hari. Bukan cuma itu, kehadiran  para bankir dan petinggi negara dari seluruh dunia itu akan menjadi ajang promosi yang luar biasa bagi pariwisata Banyuwangi sekaligus bergeraknya ekonomi lokal warga.

Nama Banyuwangi kini memang harum. Itu lantaran kabupaten yang berada di Provinsi Jawa Timur itu memiliki sejuta pesona alam. Banyuwangi dikelilingi hutan, taman nasional, dan perbukitan, serta memiliki atraksi budaya yang unik dan memikat. Kesuksesan Banyuwangi menggaet wisatawan berkat inovasi mereka dalam mengembangkan turisme. Banyuwangi pun diganjar penghargaan inovasi pengembangan pariwisata dari ASEAN Tourism Standard Award.

Bahkan Badan Pariwisata Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (the United Nations World Tourism Organization/UNWTO) menobatkan Banyuwangi sebagai kawasan dengan inovasi kebijakan pariwisata terbaik dunia pada 2016. Menteri Pariwisata Arief Yahya mengakui Banyuwangi memiliki daya dukung pariwisata yang memadai. Ia pun berkomitmen untuk mendorong agar Banyuwangi pada 2019 dapat menjadi kota wisata tujuan dunia.

Dipilihnya Banyuwangi bukan tanpa alasan. Berdasarkan data BPS 2017, terjadi peningkatan signifikan pariwisata Banyuwangi. Jumlah kunjungan wisatawan dalam negeri saja mencapai 1.363.530 pada 2014 dan pada 2017 menjadi 4.832.999. Kunjungan wisatawan mancanegara dari 30.068 pada 2014 melonjak tajam 98.970 orang pada 2017.

Peningkatan pariwisata di Banyuwangi dalam beberapa tahun terakhir juga diikuti dengan peningkatan infrastruktur fisik. Untuk bandara, perluasan landasan pacu kini telah mencapai 2.250 meter sehingga mampu dilandasi pesawat lebih besar dan mengakomodasi banyak penerbangan. Selain hadirnya berbagai rute penerbangan langsung, berbagai penginapan mulai dari hotel berbintang hingga homestay tersedia di sini. Bukan cuma itu, akses infrastruktur jalan menuju sejumlah tempat wisata dapat dilalui sehingga memudahkan mobilitas wisatawan.

Secara geografis, Banyuwangi terletak di daerah wisata alam yang masih hijau dan liar layaknya safari di Afrika ditambah juga dengan lokasinya yang dekat dengan Samudra Hindia. Daerah yang dijuluki The Sun Rise of Java itu memiliki beragam wisata. Bahkan, masuk dalam wisata kelas dunia. Di antaranya Kawah ijen dengan blue fire, Pantai Plengkung, Pantai Pulau Merah, Taman Nasional Baluran, dan Hutan Mangrove Bedul. Kawah Ijen merupakan salah satu dari dua lokasi di dunia yang menyajikan fenomena ‘blue fire’ atau api biru setelah Eslandia.

Pesona api biru
Kawah Ijen itu telah mendunia. Banyak wisman berkunjung ke kawah yang punya kedalaman 200 meter dan luas 5.466 hektare tersebut. Kawah Ijen dengan pesona blue fire bukan satu-satunya pesona yang dimiliki Banyuwangi. Daerah itu juga memiliki pantai yang indah, yakni Pantai Plengkung. Pantai yang terkenal dengan nama G-Land itu terletak di kawasan Taman Nasional Alas Purwo yang berhadapan langsung dengan Samudera Hindia. Ombak di pantai ini mendapat julukan khusus dari para peselancar dunia, yaitu The Seven Giant Waves Wonder yang berarti memiliki 7 gulungan ombak.

Tempat wisata lain yang patut dikunjungi, yakni Taman Nasional Baluran. Tempat wisata yang terletak di perbatasan Kabupaten Banyuwangi dan Kabupaten Situbondo, Jawa Timur, itu dijuluki sebagai little savana di Afrika. Ini karena di sana terdapat padang savana yang panas. Taman Nasional seluas 25.000 hektare ini memiliki rumputnya kekuning-kuningan dengan latar belakang Gunung Baluran.

Gandrung Sewu
Bukan cuma tempat wisata kelas dunia, Banyuwangi juga memiliki atraksi budaya yang menarik wisatawan, yakni Gandrung Sewu. Arief Yahya mengatakan pagelaran Gandrung Sewu memiliki tiga keunggulan dari sebuah pentas seni, yakni cultural value yang tinggi, creative value dan memiliki commercial value yang tinggi. Hal itu yang memikat wisatawan sehingga setiap pagelaran Gandrung Sewu penerbangan penuh, hotel penuh, rumah makan ramai dan itulah pentingnya cultural value.

Tidak salah, lanjut Arief,  bila Gandrung Sewu masuk dalam 100 Wonderful Event Indonesia 2018 karena event kolosal ini diikuti 1.000 hingga 1.200 penari. “Konfigurasinya bagus, event-nya selalu menjadi yang paling enak difoto,” kata Arief dalam keterangan tertulisnya di Jakarta beberapa waktu lalu.

Setiap tahunnya, tambahnya, Gandrung Sewu selalu ditunggu dan mendapat animo tinggi dari wisatawan. Event itu juga mendapat sorotan dari fotografer baik media nasional maupun internasional. Hal itu yang membuat pamor Gandrung Sewu terus meningkat. (Ida/S4-25)

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