The Jakarta Post
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo has said 2013 Sail Komodo is a great boost for East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) in its efforts to become a globally recognized tourism destination.
'It is hoped that 2013 Sail Komodo can make NTT a main tourism destination both for domestic and foreign tourists and provide excellent sailing,' he said in Jakarta on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.
The minister added that 2013 Sail Komodo could hopefully optimize the province's fishery and maritime potential both as livelihoods people could depend on and the source of sustainable development for the region.
Currently, 106 yachts from 26 countries participating in the rally have entered Indonesian waters. Of the total, 87 yachts entered via Kupang while the remaining 19 yachts came into the country via Sangihe in North Sulawesi province, Saumlaki in Maluku Tenggara Barat regency, and Tarakan in East Kalimantan province.
'Such a high number of sailors participating in the rally shows that they consider NTT an area that has to be visited due to its wide variety of tourism potential,' said Cicip.
Earlier, People's Welfare Coordinating Minister Agung Laksono said 2013 Sail Komodo was a crucial event as it supported the country's target in the fifth corridor of the Masterplan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI), which covers NTT and its two neighboring areas: Bali and West Nusa Tenggara.
The 2013 Sail Komodo event will peak in Labuan Bajo, NTT, on Sept.14 and is expected to be attended by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (ebf)