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Jakarta Post

‘Don’t sell it cheap’: Komodo Island targeted at ‘premium’ tourists

  • Riza Roidila Mufti and Markus Makur

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara   /   Thu, October 3, 2019   /  09:06 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Komodos on Rinca Island, Komodo National Park, East Nusa Tenggara, in this 2018 photo.(JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

The next time you visit Komodo Island in the Komodo National Park you might be shocked by the admission fee. After all the talk about closing down the park for conservation reasons, the government has come up with a plan that will be keenly watched by the thousands of inhabitants of the island, who have for generations lived alongside 2,897 Komodo dragons and who are financially dependent on tourism-related businesses.  Closing down Komodo would have gone against the government’s tourism agenda, as the island is a two-hour boat ride from Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), one of the government’s five “super priority” tourist destinations. Around 176,000 tourists visited Komodo Island in 2018, three-quarters of whom were foreigners, a fourfold increase from 2010. To keep up with the influx of tourists into one of the “new Balis&rdq...