Support for tourism, jobs in Borobudur Indonesia

Media release

15 July 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia would provide $215,000 to support the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to help local villagers reap the benefits of tourism in Borobudur, Indonesia.

"Borobudur is one of Indonesia's greatest cultural and historical icons – the nation's largest Buddhist temple and potentially the largest in the world," Senator Carr said.

"Millions of tourists visit the monument every year, but few tourist dollars flow to local families.

"The benefits from Borobudur's popularity should reach the 55,000 local villagers who call this area home."

Senator Carr said Australia would seek to boost local jobs and tourism income through training for local workers on heritage tourism and quality handicraft production.

"There is tremendous potential to help local communities by bringing their handicrafts, such as textiles, ceramics and wood carving to international tourists," Senator Carr said.

"The hundreds of thousands of Australians who visit Borobudur would be pleased to know they are also supporting the local community."

The Borobudur temple site is one of Indonesia's best-known tourist destinations.

Less than two years ago Mount Merapi erupted and covered the entire area with volcanic ash. Australia gave $6 million in relief aid after the eruptions and continues to assist affected communities by contributing to the Indonesian Government's National Program for Community Empowerment, a nation-wide poverty alleviation initiative that includes activities in the Borobudur region.

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