Sail Wakatobi-Belitong
targets ASEAN involvement

wakatobi: JP
wakatobi: JP

Indonesia plans to promote the maritime event “Sail Wakatobi-Belitong” to other Southeast Asian countries in keeping with its current role as Chair of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), ministers say.

The idea to encourage more ASEAN member states to get involved in the maritime event was proposed by Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister Agung Laksono, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad said Tuesday.

"During previous events, such as Sail Banda in 2010, we saw other countries taking part, such as Australia [and] Thailand. This year, in connection with Indonesia's role as ASEAN Chair, we want more participation from ASEAN countries," Agung said after a meeting about the event at his office on Tuesday.

Agung added that a letter would be sent to the ASEAN Secretariat General to request that the organization inform neighboring countries of Indonesia's wish.

Fadel said this year’s event would be unique because it would involve two provinces, Southeast Sulawesi and Bangka Belitung.

"According to various research, both places are famous for their coral. Many tourists visit Wakatobi but not in large numbers. Belitung is also famous for its beaches. That's why we want to promote both of these places," he said.

The event in Wakatobi will be held in August, while the Belitung event is scheduled for October. Besides a yachting contest, the event will also comprise social activities such as health services onboard vessels ship.

Wakatobi will also hold a mass wedding under the sea. (rcf)

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