Indonesia's Best Tourism Village 2013 is : Pekraman Jasri Village in Karangasem, Bali
Outranking other 138 villages from 29 provinces, Pekraman Jasri Village in the Karangasem Regency, on the island of Bali was recently named Best Tourism Village in 2013 by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Following in 2nd place was Nglanggeran Village in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta, while the Samiran Village, in Boyolali Regency, Central Java took 3rd place. This year, the number of villages evaluated by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy increased from 72 to 139.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu mentioned that the best tourism village can set a standard for other tourism villages and that the competition highly emphasized the beneficial impact of a tourism village on local communities. "The competition is aimed to create a standard for a successful tourism village and the impact it has on the local community" said Minister Mari after handing the Awards in Yogyakarta,on 23rd November 2013, as reported by Republika.co.id.
This year, the evaluation components were not only based on administration and financial reports, but also on other elements: "We evaluated how effective the grants had been used, and this is based on how much additional employment was created, how many business opportunities emerged, and how many tourists and visitors came to visit" added Minister Mari. This year, as many as 980 villages across Indonesia received grants totaling IDR123.25 Billion. Next year, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy intends to distribute grants to 2000 villages.
Situated between Candidasa and Taman Ujung Sukasada, the Royal Water Palace of East Bali Kingdom, the village of Pekraman Jasri is located at Subagan, Karangasem district, Karangasem Regency. Overlooking a beautiful beach of East Bali's coastal area, the village is about 70km east from Denpasar.
Aside from its beautiful natural landscape and charming traditional daily life, the village also features fascinating art and cultural performances. The village is mostly known for an ancient tradition of Ter-teranor Fire War which is rarely found elsewhere on the island. Conducted annually, a day before Nyepi, the tradition symbolizes a tribute to the evil spirits of Bhuta Kala so that they will not disturb the life of the people. In Ter-teran, two groups of people face off in a thrilling fight of fire using burning dry coconut leaves. There is also the Rejang Jasri Dance which is a sacred dance passed down the generations, as well as a special traditional percussion called Tambur Jasri.
Last year, the title of Best Tourism Village was given to Pentingsari Village in Sleman, Yogyakarta for its positive contribution to its local communities. Today, the village has 80 homestays of which 50 are suitable for international tourist accommodation. Local guides have also increased to 40, while art and cultural performers rose to 30. The village was one of 104 villages that received the PNPM Mandiri Tourism Grants totaling IDR8.75 Billion in 2009.
On his side, the Regent of Sleman, Sri Purnomo expressed that tourism villages are assets for the Regency of Sleman. Currently there are 38 tourism villages in Sleman alone which consist of 12 self-sustained tourism villages, 13 progressing , and 13 developing tourism villages. "The efforts that we do to develop tourism villages are aimed to not only add to tourism destinations, but also to increase productivity of local communities that forms part and parcel of the development of the creative economy in society", Sri Purnomo said .