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Flores Island Expected to Become the Centre of Catholic Tourism Destination

Flores
Flores

The current Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, has recently expressed his high hopes for Flores Island.

During a webinar on Friday, the 17th of May, billed as “Potential and Strategy for Development of Catholic Religious Tourism in Flores Island“, Uno expressed his belief that Catholicism in Flores Island could catapult Indonesia onto the world map of religious tourism.

“My hope is the same as when we first developed the super-priority destinations Borobudur [Temple] for the Buddhists and the Wali Songo Tomb pilgrimage for the Muslims in East Java,” Uno elaborated.

Uno also highlighted how Flores Island is historically referred to as a missionary island, which later evolved into a local religious tourist attraction through the acculturation between the Catholic church and the local culture. Various aspects, including church architecture and musical arts to religious rituals, have been observably integrated with local cultural elements.

“All of this may turn Flores Island into a religious tourism destination that is rich in both historical and spiritual values,” Uno continued.

Flores Island Expected to Become the Centre of Catholic Tourism Destination
Flores Island Expected to Become the Centre of Catholic Tourism Destination. Image Source: Museum of Wander

In a broader context, the further development of Flores Island as the go-to Catholic religious tourism destination could elevate Labuan Bajo, a fishing town located at the western end of Flores and already a notable tourism spot, as one of the most desired getaway destinations among tourists in Indonesia. By highlighting the historical and spiritual values of Catholicism in Flores Island, potential tourists might also be encouraged to explore regions beyond Labuan Bajo.

Uno’s remarks also followed the Ministry of Transportation’s recent decision to grant international airport status to Labuan Bajo’s Komodo International Airport in April.

“We are indeed building airport facilities that can accommodate one million tourist visits to Labuan Bajo, but we have to distribute the tourists not only to Komodo Island but also to the eastern region of Flores Island,” Uno concluded.

Also Read Ride off The Beaten Trails of Magical Flores

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