Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister Agung Laksono said on Monday that Sail Komodo 2013 would help boost tourism in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), particularly in Komodo Island.
“Sail Komodo will popularize Komodo Island and help attract both local and foreign tourists to the island,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Sail Komodo is scheduled to take place in September 2013.
“We will continue to promote and advertise the Sail Komodo event so that it can become known internationally,” said Agung, adding that with the event, Komodo Island could become a popular international tourist attraction.
The annual event is also expected to help improve the welfare of local people.
“We’re giving local people training to make handicrafts ahead of Sail Komodo 2013 as the sale of handicrafts can help increase their earnings,” said Agung.
The development of appropriate infrastructure facilities is currently taking place to support the festival.
“Sail Komodo can have a positive impact on local people,” said Agung.
The government allocated Rp 1.5 billion (US$154,687) in 2012 to promote the event.
Sail Komodo, an annual international maritime event that takes place in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, is part of the government’s efforts to promote NTT as a world tourist destination.
The Komodo National Park which includes Komodo, Rinca and Padar islands in West Manggarai regency, NTT, is home to Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis). The Komodo National Park was named a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in 1991.
Sail Komodo is one of the country’s annual maritime events which include Sail Bunaken, Sail Morotai and Sail Wakatobi Belitung.
NTT Governor Frans Lebu Raya said in a recent statement that the highlight of Sail Komodo would be from Sept.7 to 15 this year.(ebf)