Thu, 04 Aug 1994

Borobudur, Prambanan temples will have modern theaters

JAKARTA (JP): The government is inviting several private sector firms to establish a joint venture with the state-owned temple management company to construct modern theaters near the Borobudur and Prambanan temples in Central Java.

Yuwono Sri Suwito, director of operations and development for the state company, PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko, said here Monday that a feasibility study for the plan was completed recently.

"The planned theaters, called Multi Media Programs, will be constructed with high-tech equipment, including water-screens, lasers, sound amplifiers and other supporting instruments," he said.

Yuwono said the feasibility study, which was conducted for about six months, was supported with a loan from the French government and conducted by Light Cable of France.

Director of Domestic Tourism of the Directorate General of Tourism Chalik Hamid told The Jakarta Post that the first project will likely focus on Prambanan because the temple is already well-known for its scheduled live performances.

He said the government recently offered 20 private companies the chance to participate in the project, but so far only PT Mustika Ratu is interested in the plan.

Mustika Ratu is currently building a five-star hotel in Yogyakarta, about 18 kilometers west of Prambanan.

Chalik said the theater will show a 30 or 40 minute motion picture about the temple's history, which is to be prepared by Light Cable.

Chalik said the project will cost Rp 14 billion (US$6.46 million). Both Chalik and Yuwono refused to disclose how much financial support France will provide.


Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications Joop Ave said earlier that his office also is looking for domestic companies to develop cultural and tourist related infrastructure around the Borobudur and Prambanan temples to support the development of the tourist industry in Central Java and Yogyakarta.

Data from the ministry show that the average length of stay of foreign visitors in Yogyakarta and Central Java is only 1.9 days, a very short segment of the average of 11 days for the whole of Indonesia, due to the lack of live evening entertainment.

Yuwono said that last year, Yogyakarta ranked fourth after Bali, Jakarta and North Sumatra as favorite tourist destinations for foreign visitors.

"Yogyakarta was visited only by between 7.4 percent and 8.5 percent of the total number of foreign tourists," he said.

Foreign visitors to the country totaled 3.4 million last year.

A source at the ministry said that Taman Wisata suffered a deficit of Rp 5.91 billion between 1989 and 1992. The company netted a profit of Rp 420.74 million last year and expects a profit of Rp 413.79 million this year. (icn)