The Jakarta Post
Th entrance gate to Rinca Island in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara on March 29, 2018. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari )
Tourists planning to visit Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara are encouraged to make an online reservation with a registered travel agency or tour operator in West Manggarai regency prior to arriving, an administration official has said.
West Manggarai Tourism and Culture Agency head Agustinus Rinus said in a statement that the online registration system implemented at the national park since September last year aimed to help increase the capacity of local tour operators. He noted that many non-local travel agencies benefited from the popularity of the ecotourism destination but did not contribute to the regional income.
"All tourists must register online prior to their visit using the services of registered travel agencies and tour operators, which are listed on the online registration website," said Agustinus.
However, Komodo National Park Agency spokesperson Muhammad Iqbal Putera said offline registration was still available for those who were unable to prepare all the necessary online requirements.
The online registration system was first launched for two of the national park's locations in Batu Bolong and Karang Makassar. It has since been implemented at seven tourist spots in the area.
Plans are in store to install CCTV cameras in various zones gradually before the end of 2022 to further increase security.
According to 2019 data, Labuan Bajo, which serves as the gateway to the national park, welcomed 187,128 tourists, of whom 55.9 percent were foreign citizens. Compared to 2010, visitor numbers had risen 875 percent. Tourists stay for 6.9 days on average and spend around US$978.
Tourism contributed Rp 40.605 billion ($2.716 million) to West Manggarai's locally generated income (PAD) in 2019 alone, an increase of 2,674 percent from 2010.
Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park officially reopened to tourists under strict health protocols in July. (wir/kes)
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