Padang, (Antara Sumbar) - The natural and cultural beauty of West Sumatra actually is able to attract tourists in Singapore to visit the province, local Vice Governor Nasrul Abit said.
"Almost all tourist destinations in Singapore are artificial, so the natural beauty of West Sumatra and the rich culture has the potential to attract tourists there," he said in Padang on Monday.
He mentioned that related to the opening of direct flights of Padang-Singapore by Air Asia airline in February 2018.
A number of famous tourist destinations in Singapore such as Merlion Park, Universal Studios, Bugis Street, Little India, Orchard Street, Esplanade, Marina Bay Sands and even Sentosa Island are artificial destinations, entertainment venues and shopping.
Almost no one is a natural destination as there are many in West Sumatra. However, the number of foreign tourists who visit the land of the White Lion is even larger than Indonesia.
Data Ministry of Tourism noted, the number of foreign tourists who come to Singapore reached 16,402,593 people higher than the number coming to Indonesia in 2016 as many as 12,023,971 people.
"We hope with the direct of Padang-Singapore flight, some of the 16 million tourists who come to Singapore, are interested to continue the holiday to West Sumatra," Nasrul Abit pointed out.
However, West Sumatra according to him has not been able to do tourism promotion in Singapore. In addition to the requiring of a large budget, the regional budget (APBD) in 2018 has also been completed yet, but it stays on discussion.
In the early stages, West Sumatra was forced to rely on promotions for airlines and travel companies.
"Next year or on the 2018 APBD changes, we can budget it," he said.
Meanwhile, Head of Tourism Office of West Sumatra, Oni Yulfian said it will seek promotion to maximize the potential of direct flights of Padang-Singapore.
"We are trying our best," he said.
AirAsia plans to open a direct Padang-Singapore flight in February 2018.
The route was once served by Mandala airlines in 2012 but eventually closed. (cha)
Editor: Vicha Faradika