10 places in Indonesia to be branded as 'new Balis'

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State-owned secondary mortgage company PT Sarana Multigriya Finansial (SMF) and the Tourism Ministry on Wednesday signed an agreement at the ministry in Jakarta to develop homestays in 10 prioritized tourist destinations, the so-called 'new Balis'.

SMF risk management and operational director Trisnadi Yulrisman said the homestay-financing programme would help local people who wanted to develop new houses or to renovate their existing houses to be rented out as homestays.

"We hope the development and renovation of rooms for homestays can help house owners get additional income and create jobs," he said as quoted by tempo.co.id.

The 10 destinations branded as new Balis are Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Tanjung Kelayang beach in Bangka Belitung, Thousand Islands in Jakarta, Tanjung Lesung beach in Banten, Borobudur in Central Java, Bromo Tengger Semeru in East Java, Morotai in North Maluku, Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara and Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara.

Trisnadi said the SMF financing programme aimed to support the government's efforts to develop potential tourist destinations across the country to turn the sector into a cornerstone of the national economy.

In its statement, SMF revealed that it had disbursed funds to support the development of homestays in co-operation with village-owned enterprises in Samiran village in Boyolali, Central Java, and Nglanggeran village in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta.

Under the co-operation, SMF finances the development of homestays in the 10 destinations, while the Tourism Ministry will monitor the distribution of funds, carry out capacity building and encourage local people to take part in the programme.

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