REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, KUPANG -- The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism will begin organizing the cross-border festival in East Nusa Tenggara's Belu district town of Atambua on Saturday, according to Belu District Head Willy Lay.
"The cross-border festival will start on Saturday and will take place at the Atambua town square," Lay remarked when contacted by Antara here on Friday.
He said Belu District is directly adjacent to Timor Leste, so this festival is expected to attract several tourists from the country to cross the border to enter Atambua.
Further, the Atambua district head expressed hope that the cross-border festival will boost the area's natural, cultural, and religious tourism potentials.
"The festival will showcase all traditional and art performances from different areas in Belu District, such as dances, horse racing, bazaar, and traditional culinary arts," Lay said, adding that the festival will continue until the end of this year.
"The Ministry of Tourism will also rope in national bands, such as Box, as well as some other performers to enliven the festival," he added.
He noted that besides showcasing the culture and tradition of the community in Belu, the festival will also involve the community of Timor Leste.
According to Lay, the unique and interesting cross-border festival aims to strengthen the bonds of brotherly relations between Indonesia and Timor Leste.
The festival will also offer an array of cultural and economic activities for the people of the two neighboring countries.
Lay affirmed that with the increasing number of activities being undertaken by the central government in the border region, Belu District will strive to improve itself by showcasing its hospitality to assist the central government.
Besides this, the festival, to be held until December this year, will also help visitors explore Belu District's culture and tradition.
Indonesia is focusing on cross-border tourism this year to attract visitors from neighboring countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Timor Leste, and Papua New Guinea.