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East Nusa Tenggara eyes cycling event to attract more tourists

Plans to host a Tour de Sumba cycling event to promote tourism in East Nusa Tenggara are reportedly under discussion.

“The Tour de Flores was just held, and there will be another one dubbed Tour de Timor this year. [We think] it’s necessary to host a Tour de Sumba since Sumba has many tourist attractions to offer to foreign tourists,” said East Nusa Tenggara Legislative Council  member Yunus Takandewa on Wednesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

The West Sumba and East Sumba administrations are reportedly ready to support the plan, while Central Sumba and Southwest Sumba are currently still discussing the matter.

In addition to a cycling race, the Tour de Sumba may also host cultural side events such as a weaving fabric tenun ikat festival, a sandalwood horse parade and Pasola culture.

(Read also: Indonesia home to ‘world’s best hotel’ of 2016)

Separately, East Nusa Tenggara tourism and creative economy head Marius Ardu Jelamu said that many preparations would be needed prior to holding such a large-scale event. “This includes important infrastructure such as water, roads, electricity, hotels and many others,” he said.

Marius also pointed to the Tour de Sumba as a potential opportunity not only to promote tourism, but also to boost the local economy.

Sumba is known for its surf-friendly Nihiwatu Beach and traditional horse festival, Pasola. Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine recently selected the island’s luxury resort, Nihiwatu Sumba, as the world’s best hotel for its authenticity and unique local concept.

Source: www.thejakartapost.com, 23 July 2016