The Jakarta Post
The Public Works and Housing Ministry has stated that it will finish constructing several infrastructure projects in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), including roads and bridges, by end of the year.
Out of the total Rp 1.31 trillion (US$92.2 million) budget, the ministry has allocated Rp 67.7 billion for building a water distribution system, including a coastal protection infrastructure on Rinca Island, and Rp 420 billion for building roads and bridges, including a port access road.
Another Rp 646.3 billion has been allocated for infrastructure developments in the designated creative hub of Puncak Waringin, and Rp 174.5 billion will be used to build 315 houses in West Manggarai regency.
“The first thing that must be improved is the infrastructure, [and then] the amenities and events, and finally, massive promotion,” public works minister Basuki Hadimuljono said on Sunday as quoted by tempo.co.
"If the infrastructure is not [there], tourists will come only once and won't return. That's what we must manage properly,” Basuki added.
To reinforce infrastructure connectivity in Labuan Bajo, the ministry has signed a Rp 55.8 billion package comprising five projects, including building a 9.97-kilometer paved road with drainage.
"This package is no joke, so everything must be readied with seriousness and later, we will discuss the details of the work [entailed] with all parties involved," said the head of the Kupang National Road Implementation Center (BPJN), Muktar Napitupulu.
The ministry has also allocated Rp 6.39 trillion in infrastructure funds for four other destinations designated National Tourism Strategic Areas. The funding breaks down into Rp 1.35 trillion for Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Rp 2.31 trillion for Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Rp 903.4 billion for Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara and Rp 520 billion for Likupang in North Sulawesi.
Labuan Bajo and the four other strategic areas are part of the 10 "New Bali" destinations that the government has targeted for development to increase foreign and domestic tourism. Tourism is expected to be a mainstay industry for generating foreign exchange, create jobs and drive the economy. (eyc)