Pulau Komodo

Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla held a meeting on the development of Komodo Island as a tourist site at his office today with the Tourism Minister Arif Yahya and some Komodo Foundation’s board members in which Mr Kalla becomes its head advisory board.

The Vice President said at the meeting that after the Komodo National Park (Komodo Island) declared as “the New 7 Wonders of Nature” on 16 May 2012, there should be subsequently strategic plan to develop the tourist site so as to benefit the people living in the area. The Komodo Foundation, he added, is hoped play an active role in such an effort, although the government remains the key decision maker on it.

In response, Minister Yahya said his ministry has planned a tourist site development for the island located in West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. The planned development programs include the building of an international airport in the region, the holding of Tour de Flores event to attract more tourists, the establishment of an integrated tourism management council, and the development of environment, economic, and society based tourism.

The Vice President required that in developing a tourist site, one should not change the existing natural environment as it could be an attractive tourist object. He then took an example of “Desert Safari” in Dubai which puts forward desert, the country’s natural potential, as a selling point. “Do not change the nature! What we need to develop are the infrastructure, the cleanliness, and our hospitality,” affirmed Mr Kalla.

On an access to Komodo Island, the Vice President supported the development of direct international flights to and from Labuan Bajo Airport of the island.

The Komodo Foundation is the only foundation established to promote and disseminate information on Komodo Island. Attending the meeting were Rikard Bangun (the foundation’s advisory board member), Sofyan Wanandi, G. Sulistiyanto, and Budiarto Tanohardjo (supervisory board members), and Emmy Hafid, Sri Agustiniati, and Sabryna Danusaputra (executive board members).