The Jakarta Post
The government is currently assessing proposals from companies intending to bid for the construction of the Tanah Ampo cruise terminal in Bali, saying the tender process will begin next month.
National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) public private partnership (PPP) procurement director Mohammad Zulfikar said as many as eight investors, both domestic and foreign, had passed the prequalification phase.
'We are still assessing their proposals on this project because we want the construction [of the terminal] to begin next year. We are hoping to announce the winner [of the prequalification stage] next month and the tender [winner] by the end of 2013,' Zulfikar told The Jakarta Post.
According to him, state-run port operator Pelindo III, which manages almost all the ports visited by cruise liners, and Bakrie & Brothers were two local companies that passed the prequalification stage.
Investors from Asian and European countries, including Turkey, have also taken part.
'Besides proposing the development of the new terminal, they are also including a breakwater project, which is important to accommodate the cruise ships,' he said, adding that the project was worth between US$15 and $20 million.
Zulfikar said the project would help boost not only cruise tourism in Indonesia but also tourism and the creative economy in the regency of Karangasem, Bali, increasing local people's wealth.
Tanah Ampo used to be one of Indonesia's most popular destinations for cruise liners. However, bad management gradually led to the deterioration of facilities, forcing the government to halt cruise operations at the port.
Contacted separately, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry's meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and special interest tourism promotional director, Rizky Handayani, welcomed the project.
'This is good news for us because the new terminal and management will attract more cruise liners to our shores, particularly Bali, which has long been a favorite destination for holidaymakers, including those on cruises. Tanah Ampo is a gateway for people interested in cultural heritage and ecotourism,' she told the Post.
Candi Dasa, Pura Agung and Bale Pawedan were among the prime tourist attractions in the regency, she said.
Rizky also hoped that the new management of the port would work closely with the ministry as well as the local administration to improve service quality and better promote cruises to Tanah Ampo.
As Indonesia continues to display steady economic growth, its waters have become a major draw for international cruise operators over the past few years.
According to recent data from the ministry, the country has seen its cruise call and passenger numbers increase by over 30 percent annually as more cruise liners are opting to stop off at destinations across the archipelago.
This year, the country is expecting a 54 percent jump in cruise calls to 308, and a rise of 30.1 percent in the number of passengers to 147,134 people.
The calls include three large cruise liners, namely the Celebrity Solstice, Radiance of the Seas and Diamond Princess, each of which caters for around 2,000 passengers, and they make stopovers at Benoa Port in Bali.
The data showed that the Radiance of the Seas, run by Royal Caribbean International, stopped off at Benoa with its 2,112 passengers and 859 crew members in April.