Yogyakarta Mayor, Herry Zudianto, and students of Community Empowerment Program Field Practice (KKN PPM) of Universitas Gadjah Mada opened Basen village, Purbayan Village in Kota Gede, Yogyakarta as tourism villages with SMEs potential base, on Tuesday night (23/8). The inauguration was marked by the beating of gongs and signing of inscription by the Mayor, which was witnessed by Dimas and Diajeng of Yogyakarta. In addition, a website rwo4basen.com was launched in the event.
The development of Basen tourism village is the result of program of 61students, which for about 50 days carrying out the potential mapping and development of silver and metal handicraft, arts, and culinary as a tourist attraction. Yogyakarta Mayor, Herry Zudianto, congratulates the students who have conducted the program. According to the Mayor, the introduction of this tour is in line with the trend in various countries in the world, which puts tourism sector as the basis for economic growth. "The tourism sector is contributing about 15-16 percent to country economic growth, so many countries are interested in developing tourism industry," he said.
Furthermore, Herry added that tourism industry absorbs plenty manpower, providing economic value to the surrounding community. The mainstay of tourism sector, at least, can meet some of the things wanted by tourists, namely: what can be seen, what can be eaten, what can be purchased, and what is unique and enjoyable. "Therefore, creativity is required here," he added.
One student, Ferry Setiawan, said that with the introduction of the Basen tourism village, the community is expected to be ready to develop themselves as community who are able to optimize the potential of the area into a tourist attraction. He mentioned that during this time Kotagede is the largest silver-producing area in Indonesia. The silver handicraft is becoming a major tourist attraction. Meanwhile, Basen village has its own uniqueness, which has the potential to be developed to support the Kotagede tourism as a 'living museum', which offers a tourism experience. The making of websites created by the KKN PPM students is expected by Ferry to further introduce Basen as a tourist destination from within the country and abroad. "The current trend is that travellers will check out on the Internet first before deciding to travel. With the website, we hope we can further increase the number of tourists who visit here," he said.
Chief of RW 04 Basen neighbourhood, Wahono, said the pilot introduction of the tourism village by KKN PPM students gave a huge benefit for the residents. Openly, he said he was satisfied with the implementation of the programs by the students. "If every year we have service learning activities in Basen, I think the benefits would really help the people of Basen," he said.