Secretary General of the Central Management Board of the Indonesian Lion Dance Federation (PB FOBI), Arifin Himawan, expresses optimism that the upcoming world championship in lion and dragon dance in Jakarta will stimulate economic activity through sports tourism.

Arifin Himawan, Secretary General of PB FOBI, expressed optimism regarding the economic potential of the “Piala Presiden: First FOBI World Lion and Dragon Dance Championship 2024,” scheduled for May 17-19. With 550 athletes from 10 countries participating, the championship is anticipated to spark economic growth in the nation, particularly through sports tourism.

In a press conference held at the PB FOBI Secretariat in Jakarta on Wednesday (17/4), Arifin emphasised the hope that participants would not only compete but also spend money in Indonesia. He highlighted the opportunity for families, officials, and supporters of participating clubs to visit Indonesia, along with domestic tourists attending the event in Jakarta, potentially leading to increased hotel occupancy and positive economic activity in souvenir shops and SMEs.

Arifin elaborated that the championship, organised by PB FOBI for the first time, aims to enhance the performance of lion dance sports while attracting domestic and international tourists through sporting events. Furthermore, he mentioned that the event aligns with President Jokowi’s call for hosting more world-level sporting events domestically to boost the national economy.

Due to committee preparation issues, the championship was moved from its original location in Bali to Britama Arena in Mahaka Square, Kelapa Gading, Jakarta. Participants hail from champion lion dance clubs from Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Australia.

The championship marks PB FOBI’s inaugural event since being recognized as a high-performance sports branch by the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI) on February 20, 2013. The world-class event will feature competitions for three different trophies across three types of dance categories: the President’s Cup for the Southern Lion Dance, the Minister of Youth and Sports Cup for the Northern Lion Dance, and the Minister of Defense Cup for the Dragon Dance.

PB FOBI encouraged 180 Indonesian athletes from various lion dance clubs to showcase their talents, aiming to bring honour to Indonesia on the global stage.

Source: Antara News