Situated some 15 kilometers north of the city of Solo in Central Java Province, the Sangiran Archeological Site where the fossils of Early Man or Homo Pithecanthropus Erectus were found, will be developed into a world heritage attraction through intensive planning and programs.
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To accomplish this, a number of strategies that have been drawn up, will be implemented in the near future, starting with the establishment of Sangiran as one of the four Strategic National Tourism Areas (KSPN) in Central Java and Yogyakarta or also known as the JogloSemar (Jogja-Solo-Semarang)focal destination area. “Just like the Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temples Complex, and Ratu Boko Palace, now also the Sangiran Early Man Site will be developed into a World Heritage Attraction. So that, tourists who come to the region will not only focus on and visit Borobudur or Prambanan Temples only.” said Expert for Multicultural Affairs of the Ministry of Tourism, Hari Untoro Drajat.
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Hari Untoro further continued that the Ministry is paying special attention to the development of this vast archeological complex of Sangiran, since currently only one site has been developed as tourist attraction. Aside from continuously conducting integrated development, the government is also obliged to conduct systematic preservation efforts to the site that had been designated as World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1996.
In line with the preservation and development programs of the Sangiran Early Man Site, in 2004 a masterplan for the development of the complex was completed, which was followed by the establishment of the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) in 2007. The Master Plan and DED are the key elements of the site’s development policies that also incorporate involvement of stakeholders and academics.
Following the Masterplan, the government will develop the Sangiran prehistoric Museum site into five clusters, which are: the Sangiran Prehistoric Museum Krikilan Cluster, the Sangiran Prehistoric Museum Ngebung Cluster, Sangiran Prehistoric Museum Bukuran Cluster, Sangiran Dayu Prehistoric Museum, and the Manyanrejo Field Museum. However, out of the five clusters, only the Krikilan cluster has been developed as tourist attraction. According to Hari Untoro, the Krikilan Cluster has already been completed with a number of facilities that include parking lots, souvenir shops, and a cafeteria.
“We also need an integrated transportation system from to take visitors fromone cluster to the others so that the number of visitors can rise and can also be distributed evenly across the complex. This is because, most visitors still donot know that there exist other clusters and how to reach these”, added Hari Untoro Drajat.
The government, additionally, encourages local communities to bolster development of the surronding tourism potentials. “The local culture of the people around Sangirane is really interesting. The concept of community based tourism can be applied well here” said Hari Untoro.
Improving Accessibility to Central Java and Yogyakarta
As concerns the Central Java and Yogyakarta region, four National Strategic Tourism Areas (KSPN) are currently being developed,which are : the Borobudur Temple and surroundings, Sangiran Early Man Site, the Karimunjawa Islands, and the Dieng Plateau.
Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya is upbeat that the development of tourism in this region will grow rapidly following improvements in infrastructure and accessibility . “The Fourth Masterplan of the National Strategic Tourism Areas (KSPN) were completed in 2016. For Semarang we will improve the harbor, for Kariimunjawa we plan to renovate the airport, and for Dieng, we will also renovate the airport at Purbalingga, close to Dieng” said the Minister.
Minister Arief Yahya, moreover, has invited airlines to open more routes to Solo, adjacent to Yogyakarta. This is also because Yogyakarta’s airport has already surpassed its full capacity. The recent addition to international accessibility is the Kuala Lumpur-Solo flights operated by Air Asia. According to the Minister, the next step is to open direct flights between Bangkok-Solo. “A number of airlines are planning to open new routes to Solo, and this will definitely boost the economy and tourism of Solo and surrounding areas” said Minister Arief Yahya.