Destinations‘Machu Picchu of Busan’ should be an inspiration for us, says Jokowi

Indonesia president looks to slums for tourist appeal

Indonesia eyes South Korean art village for inspiration.
Indonesia eyes South Korean art village for inspiration. Photo Credit: Phetcharee/GettyImages

BUSAN - Indonesia president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo wants villages in Indonesia to look like the Gamcheon tourist village in the South Korean port city of Busan.

Once a 1950s slum when refugees flocked to it in the aftermath of the Korean War, the art-themed village is now a major visitor attraction.

Prior to attending the ASEAN-South Korea Commemorative Summit on Monday, Jokowi and and his wife Iriana visited the hillside village, which is dubbed the “Machu Picchu of Busan”.

The couple tasted local food at a cafe in Gamcheon while looking at the village’s multi-tiered communal layout, the Jakarta Post reported.

The village now features colourful houses built in staircase-fashion and alleys decorated with murals and sculptures, as well as exhibition spaces and restaurants.

“I suppose that villages in [Indonesia] can also transform themselves and build something like [Gamcheon],” Jokowi said as quoted in a statement released by the Presidential Press Bureau.

“We can take [Gamcheon] as a model and create some modifications, but the most important thing is there is an urban rehabilitation [programme] with community development and creative economy empowerment,” he said.

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