During a recent visit to Jember regency in East Java on Aug. 12, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya who came with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo commented on Jember Fashion Carnaval (JFC) that is currently holding JFC 2017 event.

“It has been held consistently for 16 years, this is why it ‘s one of the best carnival events,” said Arief.

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The popularity of Jember Fashion Carnival has also inspired other cities to follow suit, such as Malang Flower Carnival, Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival, Batik Carnaval Solo, Semarang Night Carnival and many more.

“Originality is the most important aspect, and then consistency for 16 years. [JFC] has won several carnival competitions in the world and it’s the biggest reputation that the group has,” added Arief.

Moreover, Arief said that tourism is one of President Jokowi’s main concerns.

Pak Jokowi wants us to have a benchmark, to compare ourselves with other successful nations,” Arief said.

The ministry has been comparing the country’s tourism to neighboring countries such as Malaysia that they called “emotional enemy” and Thailand as “professional enemy.”

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“Now we have a newcomer, Vietnam. They are the dark horse, rising up with 24 percent growth, higher than Indonesia with 22.4 percent,” he added.

Jember Fashion Carnival 2017 event was first launched by the minister at Sapta Pesona Building in Central Jakarta. The main event is being held on Aug. 13.

“This kind of event is needed to improve the tourism business in Jember, it should be held once every year and will soon become the main attraction in Jember. Surakarta has 56 events and Banyuwangi has 72, other region also have their own events; it’s just a matter of large-scale promotion and the locals will reap the economic benefit from these events,” told Arief. (kes)

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