The Association of Catholic Professionals and Businessmen has criticized the way the tourist industry is being run in East Nusa Tenggara province and has pledged to boost the local economy by attracting more visitors. The province has a great deal to offer but the industry is not being managed well, according to the association’s chairman Michael Utama Purnama. “We see immediate potential in eight tourism categories, including maritime, nature, culture and religion, which can be developed and made attractive to tourists,” he told a meeting between the association and local governmental officials in the provincial capital Kupang yesterday. He said Komodo National Park, located between Sumbawa and Flores islands, and the Good Friday procession in Larantuka, in East Flores district, were two of the many sites and events that could lure tourists to the province. “This predominantly Catholic province also needs strong businessmen who always put Christian values first in their businesses,” he continued. Andreas Jehalu, a provincial official acknowledged that many sectors in the tourism industry can be developed and improved and thanked the association and other business leaders for supporting government efforts to make 2013 Visit East Nusa Tenggara Year.
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