Indonesia hoping visit by Richard Gere will boost tourism


Popular Hollywood Actor, Richard Gere, will visit Borobudur, Indonesia’s imposing 9th century Buddhist monument in Central Java, from June 25-27 this month. Himself a devout Buddhist, Richard Gere will be accompanied by his wife, Carey Lowell, and son, Homer James Jigme.

Gere and family will be special guests at the spectacular Borobudur Masterpiece Ballet held at the Aksobya Open Air Theater, at the eastern foot of the Borobudur Temple, on Sunday evening, June 26, 2011. To be performed by a cast of 150 of top Javanese dancers, the Borobudur Masterpiece Ballet relates the history of the construction of the mighty temple during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty.

Additionally, Richard Gere is planned to take part in a Morning Peace Walk together with Buddhist monks where he will witness a memorable sunrise from the courtyard of Borobudur. Gere will also participate in a Boddhi Tree Planting ceremony at the Borobudur garden. He will then visit the nearby Mendut Temple and the Borobudur Village on a one-kilometer elephant ride, said Tourism Marketing Director General Sapta Nirwandar at a press conference, Friday, June 17.

The entire visit of Richard Gere and family to Borobudur, as well as to the adjacent Hindu Prambanan temple, will be documented and broadcast on international TV channels. As June is the peak tourist season and is also Indonesia’s school holiday, Borobudur will remain open to the public during the visit of actor Richard Gere, assured Nirwandar.

Both Borobudur and the Prambanan temples are designated UNESCO World Heritage monuments.

During his visit, Richard Gere will meet Minister for Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, and will be hosted to a special Dinner with Sultan Hamengku Buwono X at the Yogyakarta Palace.

Prior to his visit to Indonesia, the Golden Globe winner will, together with his family, visit South Korea first, then end the tour in Indonesia with a holiday on the fabled island of Bali.

The visit to Indonesia of world-class stars like Richard Gere is expected to raise Indonesia’s image globally and increase visitor arrivals to the country.