JAKARTA (ILO News): The International Labour Organization (ILO) through its Job Opportunities for Youth (JOY) project is actively promoting local economic development (LED) as an alternative development approach. To do so, the ILO operates in two districts of East Java, Malang and Pasuruan, where LED forums have been created and include members of the private sector, government and civil societies.
In this context, agribusiness and tourism were identified as the main economic drivers of the region and a list of what needs to be done has been planned accordingly and strategically by the forums. While the ILO is a facilitator in the process, it also supports training as well the link with external stakeholders in view to create synergies and develop partnerships.
In this spirit, a link was made with Vulcania, a unique and successful volcano theme park in the central province of Auvergne in France, where visitors are invited to learn while having fun. The park was entirely publicly funded but managed under a public-private partnership, which represents LED in model and spirit in East Java.
Vulcania has helped its province jump from the 15th to the 8th position out of 22 French provinces in terms of number of visitors since its creation. Its economic impact is undeniable since every dollar invested in Vulcania generates 8 to 10 dollars for the regional economy, and every dollar spent on the park by visitors also generates 10 dollars to the regional economy.
The ILO invited the Scientific Director of Vulcania, Mr. Francois Dominique de Larouziere, to visit East Java. After meeting with different districts and provincial government officials, community leaders, LED forum members and after visiting key tourism sites such as the Bromo-Semeru-Tengger national park, an important workshop took place in Surabaya on March 25, in front of over 100 East Java representatives. The conclusion was to endorse the idea to adapt the concept behind Vulcania in East Java and to proceed with a formal feasibility study.
“The tourism potential in the Province of East Java, including the Bromo-Semeru-Tengger national park is extraordinary. The creation of a place of “learning while playing”, dedicated to volcanoes and earth sciences, I believe will attract more people to visit the national park. Beyond volcanoes, the development of points of interest (ecotourism, agrotourism, bird watching) would allow the creation of many tour packages which tourists are very fond of,” said Mr. de Larouziere of Vulcania.
The ILO will assist East Java representatives as well as with other tourism related activities, including the creation of package tours to the region, in coordination with ASITA, the national travel agents association, and tour operators in Europe. As a follow-up, Vulcania France and the East Java Government will need to further discuss the type of partnership that will be best suited to a successful adaptation of the park in East Java.
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