The Jakarta Post
The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration is optimistic that the number of tourists to Komodo National Park in Manggarai Barat regency, Flores, will reach 50,000 people following the introduction of a membership system that includes special cards and an entry fee.
The province's tourism and creative economy agency head, I Wayan Darmawa, told Antara news agency in Kupang on Tuesday that the new policy would be implemented this year.
“In 2020 we will start implementing a membership system for tourists coming to Komodo Island. Visiting tourists must obtain the membership card issued by the administration,” he said.
The membership card is part of an ongoing effort to rebrand Komodo Island as a premium tourist destination. The administration has set a target of attracting at least 50,000 local and foreign tourists to the location.
According to Antara, many foreign tourists have already sent their requests to apply for the tourist membership card.
“Through a good administration on Komodo Island, tourists will get good and optimal service,” I Wayan said.
“The membership system will not affect visits to Komodo Island because many facilities on the island are modern and suitable for tourists’ safety and comfort.”
He added that the Komodo dragon as a vulnerable species needed to be protected along with its ecosystem, hence its decision to limit the number of tourist arrivals.
Entry tickets to the destination will be set at US$1,000 per year per person.
I Wayan said that visitors without a membership card would be directed to Rinca Island, which is also home to Komodo dragons. (gis/kes)
Paragraph nine in this article has been corrected.