The Jakarta Post
The Majestic Princess at sea. (Princess Cruises/File)
The Indonesian archipelago, home to breathtaking nature and diverse culture, increasingly serves as one of the globe's best destinations for cruise tourism.
A luxurious cruise ship company, Princess Cruises, is reportedly planning to offer trips to Bali, Lombok, Komodo Island, Makassar, Semarang and Probolinggo between 2017 and 2018.
According to the firm's Southeast Asia region director, Farriek Tawfik, there are still many areas in Indonesia that can be explored as cruise tourist destinations. However, based on Cruise Line International Association data from last year, Indonesia has the lowest number of seaports in Asia with only 172. Topping the list is Japan with 1,526 seaports, followed by China (850), South Korea (745), Vietnam (466), Malaysia (422), Singapore (391), Thailand (291), Taiwan (234) and Hong Kong (185).
"Indonesia is not only Bali," said Farriek as quoted by Antara news agency on Thursday, adding that the Island of the Gods remains the archipelago's most popular destination with 20 cruise visits by Princess Cruises.
The real issue here is that not all of the potential cruise tourist destinations have adequate infrastructure. In order to become a parking port, a city not only has to prepare an adequate seaport, but also other facilities that can accommodate the passengers, such as the transportation to take them to tourist attractions and foreign-language guides.
Farriek is confident that the company would be able be attract more than 60,000 foreign tourists to Indonesia in 2017 and 2018.
Most of the tourists who prefer cruise ships to explore Indonesia's beauty include those from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and China. (dan/kes)
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