The Tourism Board of Gorontalo in Sulawesi released its calendar of events for the year last Wednesday. During the whole year, the province is slated to conduct 17 tourist events, comprising themes of culture, art, cuisine and spiritual wellness.
Gorontalo Governor H. Rusli Habibie told Tempo.co that the calendar of events was released to improve tourism in the province. Hopefully, the rise of tourism will also improve the people’s welfare.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya agrees that Gorontalo has a lot of potential as a tourist destination, especially for people from China.
Gorontalo, he said, was close to North Sulawesi, which was the gateway for Chinese tourists visiting Indonesia. Therefore, Gorontalo could be a new emerging destination, aside from North Sulawesi.
Beach view at Pulo Cinta, Gorontalo (Shutterstock/Bagus Septiangga)
Two of the highlights on Gorontalo’s event calendar are the Gorontalo Karawo Carnival, to be held from Nov. 20-25, and the Limboto Lake Festival from Sept. 21-23. The two events are also included in the calendar of 100 national events and hence supported by the Tourism Ministry.
Karawo is handmade embroidered fabric unique to Gorontalo in a skill passed down through generations since the era of the ancient Gorontalo kingdom. Meanwhile, Limboto Lake is a popular destination in the province. Covering 3,000 hectares but measuring no more than 8 meters in depth, the lake is often dubbed a giant pool.
Activities for visitors to Limboto Lake include fishing and sunset viewing. As an ecosystem of water plants like lotus, water hyacinth and wild sugarcane, the surface of Limboto Lake is particularly colorful in certain seasons when the flowers blossom.
Another event not to be missed on Gorontalo’s calendar of events is the Pohon Cinta (Tree of Love) Beach Festival from on May 2-6. The beach is located in Pohuwatu district, about three hours by car from Gorontalo.
According to genpi.co, various activities are set to enliven the beach festival, ranging from art performances and fun swimming to a local beauty pageant.