3) Raja Ampat to Organize Various Festivals to Lure Tourists
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The district administration of Raja Ampat in West Papua Province will organize various festivals to lure tourists to the island.
The planned festivals will be part of the tourism campaign for the region, according to the Head of Raja Ampat tourism office, Yusdi Lamatenggo, on Saturday (Jan. 21).
This years list of festivals include a maritime festival, a flute and drum festival, the Wonderful Misol festival, the Wonderful Salawati festival, the Wonderful Waigeo festival, a fish cooking festival and a Red and White festival.
There will also be a spiritual festival, a blue sea festival, the Raja Ampat Fair and the Raja Ampat childrens reading festival.
The events are also intended to preserve and promote the regions local culture and arts, he added.
In an effort to improve transportion access to Raja Ampat, the government has also launched several key infrastructure projects on the islands.
Regular transportation will be made available from the regional capital of Waisai to other islands, including Misol Island.
"Foreign and local tourists will now be able to visit the islands without having to hire expensive speedboats," explained Lamatenggo.
The Wing Air Lion Group will also operate direct return flights from Jakarta to Manado and Waisai to improve the access to West Papua from outside the region, he said.
"At the moment, tourists wishing to visit Raja Ampat have to take a long flight from Jakarta to Sorong," he added.
The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat, fondly called the Living Eden or Paradise on Earth, was a lesser-known tourist destination and was familiar only to intrepid travelers and avid divers.
Considered to be a crown jewel in Indonesia, Raja Ampat has crystal clear turquoise waters and islands covered by dense green forests and mangrove swamps.
Located in an area called the "Coral Triangle" between the Pacific and Indian oceans in eastern Indonesias West Papua province, the world is now taking notice of Raja Ampat after the Indonesian government intensified its tourism campaign to promote the region.