Belitung Island, which has risen in popularity in recent years thanks to best-selling novel Laskar Pelangi and the growing prominence of its hometown hero, Basuki Tjahaja 'Ahok' Purnama, deputy governor of Jakarta, plans to develop its own luxury highland resort by the middle of 2015.
PT Bintang Berlian Belitung announced on Wednesday that the 'resortainment' would have 181 deluxe rooms, 21 villas and Indonesia's first floating sea waterpark when it opened in June 2015.
Construction of the Rp 300 billion ( US$27.3 million ) project on 7.8 hectares of land would begin this month, president director Teguh Harapan told reporters.
Belitung, the smaller of the twin island Bangka province, accommodates daily 45-minute flights to Jakarta
Local novelist Andrea Hirata in 2008 published Laskar Pelangi, which was later adapted into a movie. Ahok made a big impression by helping Jakarta Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo win the gubernatorial election in 2012. With Jokowi now being touted as a possible 2014 presidential candidate, Ahok will be a shoe in for the governorship.
More recently, the island has been used as the shooting location of After the Dark, a science fiction Hollywood movie starring Indonesia's own Cinta Laura that will premier in April. /alz