KEPANJEN – The target of tourists visiting as many as 6 million people can be met Disparbud (Department of Tourism and Culture) Malang Regency in 2017. From their records, there are total 6,195,054 Nusantara and foreign tourists who visited Malang district last year. The number increased dramatically compared to 2016 ago. It was recorded there are 5.8 million tourists visit.

The existence of major events held on several beaches is called to be one of the boosters of tourist arrivals to Malang Regency, especially in moments of injury time or the end of the year.

“The most dominant is the tourist visit to the beaches in South Malang and then visit the tourist villages,” explained Head of Disparbud Malang Regency, Made Arya Wedhantara.

He then exemplifies the success of big event such as Malang Beach Festival which was held in 2017 to commemorate the 1,257th Anniversary of Malang Regency. No less than 500 thousand people attended the two-month event.

“Next year and the next year, Malang Beach Festival will be held regularly every year,” added Made.

Looking at the upward trend in tourist arrivals last year, Made targets a 10 percent increase in number of visits this year. That number is targeted specifically for Nusantara tourists. “If foreign tourists, we are targeting a 5 percent increase,” he added.

To realize the target, a number of new events are also being prepared. Still utilizing the existence of Coastal South, but different from Malang Beach Festival concept.

On the other hand, disparbud also plans to utilize the existence of tourist villages in Malang regency. Greater promotions are being prepared for it. Technically, the Head of Marketing, Johnson Sonaru mention that 60 percent of total tourist visits in 2017 and then dominated visits to nature-based tourism.

“And the other 30 percent are dominated by cultural tourism, namely attractions and inscriptions,” he added. While the rest, i.e. as many as 10 percent of new visits to artificial tourist attractions.

This is where the tourist village becomes one of the mainstays of the district government. The natural resource (SDA) in 378 villages in Malang Regency is diverse.

“There are tourists who do not come to the resort directly, but to the villages in the first place of recreation. This should be utilized,” said Johnson. Looking back, the attraction of tourists to the local wisdom of citizens is quite increased.

Call it Karo ceremonial dish in Ngadas Village, Poncokusumo is always crowded with tourists both from within and outside the country. “So, not only the tourist that can be sold, local wisdom of citizens also has its own charm,” he added. To realize that, disparbud is currently intensifying coordination.

Head of Tourism Industry Development of Malang Regency, Lani Masruro explain the number of tourist villages this year is targeted can be increased.

“In 2017, two tourist villages have emerged. This year will be more,” she said. The two new tourist villages that are still in 2017 are Ngadirejo Village, Jabung Subdistrict, and Pujiharjo Village, Tirtoyudo District. From the temporary mapping done by her, there are some villages that have a chance to develop similar concept. Among them, Kaumrejo Village, Ngantang District; Majang Tengah Village, Dampit District; Toyomarto Village, Singosari District; and Tawangargo Village, Karangploso District.

“The potential is diverse; there is agro-tourism, nature tourism, and many others. What is clear they have great potential to be developed,” she concluded.

Reporter: Farik Fajarwati
Editor: Bayu Mulya
Copy Editor: Dwi Lindawati
Translator: Jamilah Aljah
Photografer: Rubianto