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The Cleansing of the Temple

Direct Access Paths Being Built in Order to Avoid Hawkers and Improve the Visitor Experience at the Central Javanese Borobudur Temple

Bisniswisata.co.id reports tourism officials at the Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java are concerned at the recent low level of international visitors coming to the 9th century Buddhist Temple. After investigation, it was concluded that the meandering and circuitous paths connecting the actual temple with the parking-entrance were found both tiresome and boring by Temple visitors.

Perhaps representing an ill-considered approach to hospitality and service to international visitors, visitors to Borobudur are compelled to zig-zag on a path between endless stalls of small traders and handicraft vendors, multiplying and extending by a factor of 4 or 5 the actual walking distance from the entrance to the actual Temple. Temple management mistakenly decided that tourists would spend more money and perhaps enjoy the experience of passing shop after shop selling the same poorly made bric-a-brac posing as native handicrafts, while being harassed by subsistence shopkeepers shouting “you buy here” and “special morning price.”

Now, in an effort to lure international tourists back to the beautifully restored Temple and UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, the management of the Borobudur Temple Complex are creating more direct, line-of-sight pathways leading to the site. The general manager of the Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, I Gusti Putu Ngurah Sedana, explained to the State News Agency Antara: “Foreign tourists want no impediments once they enter the Temple Complex. They want to safely and comfortably arrive at the actual temple as soon as possible after disembarking their transportation.”

A new pathway for international tourists is intended to improve service to the public, especially those visiting from overseas. Undergoing a phased building process, it is hope the new access path will soon be up and operating. Sedana said: “From the main gate to the Temple guests can directly approach the structure. When leaving the actual temple, the guests will be greeted by electrified transport that will bring them back to the parking area.”

Sedana said it was his fervent hope that tourists would return to their home countries with stories of how safe, secure, and hassle-free was their visit to the Borobudur Temple. In time, he said, this positive feedback would help build visitor numbers to the Complex.

Efforts are underway for the improved access system to be fully operational for the peak travel period for international visitors during the months of July-October 2019.

When asked what he anticipated the response would be to the new “direct path” from the handicraft sellers, refreshment providers and beggars who will be to being bypassed by the new access path, Sedana declined comment.

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