Obama visits Bali, expected to promote Indonesian tourism
Former President Obama and his family landed on the resort island of Bali in Indonesia on Friday to begin a nine-day trip to the country that Obama called home for several years.
The Associated Press reported Saturday that Obama would travel with his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, to the ancient city of Yogyakarta where Obama’s mother Ann Dunham once did anthropological research.
The family will also visit Borobudur, a 9th century Buddhist temple complex in Central Java, and have been invited to the Bogor Palace in West Java. The AP reports the Obamas are expected to spend most of the vacation at a resort in Ubud, an arts and culture center.
Obama is expected to speak to the 4th Indonesian Diaspora Congress in Jakarta on July 1, and will visit several cultural heritage sites across the country.
Obama’s trip coincides with a major effort by Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry to promote travel to the country, especially from the United States. The Jakarta Post reported that the Tourism Ministry will display promotional material in Times Square in New York City during the Obamas’s vacation.
“It was effective because there was a momentum,” Tourism Minister Arief Yahya told the Post.
The Tourism Ministry often launches these campaigns during visits from foreign leaders. The Jakarta Post reported that the ministry funded a similar campaign in March when Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited Indonesia for 11 days.
Obama moved to the country at age 6 with his mother, and then moved back to the U.S. at age 10 to live with his grandparents.
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