Friday, September 30, 2011

Indonesia's tourism ambassador to perform Mandau Dance

Indonesia’sTourism ambassador 2010 Alessandra Khadijah Usman, who will represent Indonesiaat the 2011 Miss Asia-Pacific World Competition in South Korea on Saturday,will perform the Dayak tribe Mandau Dance.

She had begun preparations to perform the Mandau Dance, which she learned atthe Central Kalimantan pavilion at the Indonesia Miniature Park (TMII) in EastJakarta a few months before the event. The dance will become a primary part ofher talent show.

She will also wear various Indonesian traditional costumes, such as exoticBatik patterns combining themes from Solo and Bali as well as Batik from ParangKencana and other clothes from the Delami Group.

“This is the first event where I represent Indonesia. This is a real challengebecause this competition does not only measure our beauty, but also talent andother skills,” she said Friday as quoted by

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Big ships to serve as Sail Morotai participants` accommodations

Anumber of big ships will be chartered to serve as floating hotels forparticipants of Sail Morotai 2012, the chairman of the event`s local committee,Muhadjir Albar, said here on Wednesday.

"We have a limited number of hotels and accommodations in Morotai andtherefore we will charter a number of big ships to serve as floating hotels forSail Morotai 2012 participants and guests," Muhajir said.

He said the local committee of Sail Balitung 2011 did likewise to accommodateguests and participants of the international marine event last year.

According to Muhajir, the Sail Morotai local committee would also encouragelocal people to allow their houses be used as home-stay accommodations for theevent`s participants and guests.

But he added the bedrooms and bathrooms of the houses that would be used ashome-stay accommodations must be renovated first with funds from the regionaland state budgets.

Meanwhile, chairman of the North Maluku branch of the Indonesian Hotels andRestaurants Association (PHRI) Christoper Harlin said the use of big ships andpeople`s houses to accommodate Sail Morotai guests and participants was anappropriate measure to overcome the shortage of lodging facilities in Morotai.

Christoper said he believed foreigners would prefer staying at local people`shouses rather than in hotels during Sail Morotai 2012 because they would liketo enjoy the natural atmosphere and interaction with the house owners

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oirata, Favorite Tourist Village In Maluku

Oiratavillage on Kisar Island in Maluku Barat Daya (MBD) district, Maluku Province,has in the past several years been a favorite and idyllic destination forforeign tourists.

In its spice island adventure voyage of discovery from Darwin, Australia, MVOrion cruise ship, with hundreds of Australian, New Zealand, and even Dutchtourists, was again fortunate to come alongside the wharf of Nama beach port onthe west coast of Kisar island on Saturday, July 16, 2011.

MV Orion from Australia with tourists from various countries has during thepast four years made Nama beach part of its regular ports of call to visit thevillage of Oirata.

After berthing at Nama beach and completing formalities on Saturday, thetourists eventually got off the ship and made their way to a convoy of localcars, waiting to take them to Wonreli town for a welcome ceremony.

In small groups with local guides the tourists were invited to explore Kisar`shistory including the remnant architecture from the Dutch period over 400years, and then ushered to Oirata village.

As part of Maluku`s southwestern islands, Kamanasa said Kisar was in the pastone of the remotest and least accessible in all Indonesia, but now it was nolonger isolated.

To date it has basically a few facilities such as accommodations andrestaurants for visitors, but some fine beaches and snorkeling spots of coursecan still be found there.

It might be the reason why Kisar has since the past four years been a regularport of call for the Australian cruise ship.

Geographically, Kisar is closer to Australian continent and culturally nearerto Timor Leste and has a real Timorese feel to it, with villages scattered inthe dry, scrubby interior rather than along the coast.

Sights are limited to a very few colonial buildings such as a ruined old churchat Leklor village, Fort Vollenhove at Nama beach, and Fort Delftshaven atKaisama village which are the most impressive for foreign visitors.

Some of the finest "Ikat Weavings" are found in Kisar, and the bestof these are made by the people of Oirata village with some of uniquetraditional-style houses left.

Previously known as "the Moluccas", the Maluku region is truly acollection of forgotten islands located just north of Australia.

Sitting between New Guinea and Timor Leste, it is part of Wallacea, thelegendary deep water area that separates the Australian and Asian continentplates.

The southwest corner of Maluku is virtually inaccessible but is home tonumerous stunning islands with fringing reefs and ancient culture.

Very few outsiders have ever set foot on these islands and a unique experienceis guaranteed as the MV Orion`s crew members and guests discover the"Forgotten Islands" of Maluku.

Their visit in July this year was the tiny island of Kisar which serves astheir official entry point into the archipelago.

Kisar has over 400 years of European history and despite being only a fewhundred miles off the coast of Australia, its European history is virtuallyunknown.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maluku`s Pombo Island to be another tourist attraction

Surroundedby white sandy beaches marked by natural purity and crystal clear water, thesmall island of Pombo in Maluku needs to be turned into another touristattraction in the "province of one thousands islands."

Having a good time with family members at the beach around the efficiently andenvironmentally friendly island of Pombo will be an unforgettable experiencefor the visitors.

Since Pombo Island is part of Central Maluku district, the local culture andtourism office has undoubtedly called on investors to develop that coralisland`s tourism potential.

Central Maluku Culture and Tourism Office spokesman Mansyur Tawainela said inAmbon on Thursday that investors were expected to develop Pombo Island andpreserve its natural tourism heritage as another tourism object in Maluku.

Maluku province is a chain of around 1,000 islands, extending over 851,000square kilometers.

Some of the islands are volcanic regions covered with luxurious vegetation andthe others are surrounded with the finest coral reefs and atolls with crystalclear waters.

The beaches there are lined with swaying coconuts that make them some of thefinest in the world, and one of them is at Pombo Island.

Therefore Mansyur said he was prepared to facilitate the investors who wantedto develop that tiny island, located northeast of Ambon, into a marine andnatural tourism destination in Central Maluku district.

"Pombo Island has natural and undersea beauty that can make the visitorsfeel at home once they set foot on the island," Mansyur said, adding thatthe most interesting part of the island was its natural purity and beauty.

Pombo Island is geographically close to Liang, Waai, and Tulehu villages atSalahutu subdistrict in Ambon Island, and near Kailolo village in HarukuIsland.

Mansyur said the development of Pombo Island into a tourism object should alsobe approved by Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan because of the island`s statusas a nature preserve.

"We are ready to give a recommendation to the forestry minister if theinvestors have met various requirements," Mansyur said, adding that Liang,Waai, Tulehu, and Kailolo villagers would also be encouraged to participate inmaking Pombo Island tourism development a success.

According to him, an investor from Jakarta had an intention to develop PomboIsland into a tourism object, because a team of the investor was currentlymaking a familiarization with Liang, Waai, Tulehu, and Kailolo villagers.

Pombo Island is about 30 minutes from the coast of Waai Village by boat and ittakes approximately 45 minutes to get to Waai from Ambon City.

Mansyur said the travelers to Pombo Island could get there by boat, provided bythe local agencies.

The agencies will also provide the visitors with diving equipment so that theycan dive to enjoy the beauty and amazing Pombo Island`s underwater world.

"The colorful fishes swim across so that all divers may photograph orcapture the moment by video cameras. The complete species of fishes may be observedby observers who want to make research," Mansyur said.

Meanwhile, Din Kelilauw of Ambon residence said that not only the completecollection of fishes that would amaze the scuba diver but also its coral reefas the fishes home redecorated the scene.

The tropical sun shine will brighten the scene and give certain effect on thephotographs, so that we recommend Pombo Island as a destination for challengingfamily holiday, Kelilauw said.

Pombo Island marine recreation park comprises an area of 1,000 hectares withnothing more than sandy beaches and coral debris, covered by shrubs and nestingtrees for various big and small birds species.

But unfortunately the coral reefs immediately surrounding the island areheavily damaged, and only a small area south-east of Pombo Island is stillworth visiting.

Pombo Island marine park, an atoll with white sandy beach inhabited by seagulls, is also located just across from Ambon Island`s Honimua beach at Liangvillage.

"But Honimua beach sometimes looks desolate even on holidays or weekends,because people now prefer going to other places," said Rosny Marasabessy,a visitors from Ambon.

She admitted that holiday makers seldom visited Honimua beach because it wasrather far from Ambon while its services and recreation facilities were notgood enough.

The beauty of Liang`s Honimua beach seemed to have been grossly neglected bythe local government, whereas this tourism asset needed the attention of allparties in the region.

Liang village head Abdul Razak Opier said to take care of the facilities atHonimua beach the village administration got only Rp1.5 million for the period2009-2010 from the local government.

But now, Maluku tourism and culture office spokesperson Ima Tualeka said, therecreation and other facilities at the beach would be rehabilitated andupgraded to attract more tourists.

Maluku`s culture and tourism authorities also made every effort to do anupgrading and rehabilitating job on the facilities at Honimua beach to make itmore presentable to tourists and other visitors.

The stretch of pristine beach at Liang village in Salahatu sub-district whichin the 1990s was rated as the most beautiful seashore in Indonesia by the UNDevelopment Program (UNDP) once attracted many visitors, but somehow it becamea forgotten recreational spot.

Located northeast of Leihitu Promontory, Honimua beach facing Seram Island usedto draw numerous visitors on holidays and weekends.

There was also a restaurant, run by local people to provide visitors withtypically local food , baked fish, and so-called "Colo-Colo."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Playing Hooky in Ambon

Headingeast to the Maluku Islands, formerly known as the Moluccas, had always been onmy things-to-do-before-I-die list, thanks to the alluring descriptions intravel guidebooks and images friends had posted on Facebook. So when my editorassigned me to cover Sail Banda 2010 on an invitation from the Ministry ofMaritime Affairs and Fisheries, I believed I was the luckiest writer in theoffice.

I woke up early for a sleepy-eyed cab ride to Soekarno-Hatta InternationalAirport to catch my flight for Ambon, the capital of Maluku province.

The rushed and panicked crowd milling around the check-in counter of thelow-cost airline I was flying with made it feel more like a hectic marketplacethan an airport.

The flight to Ambon took about four hours, with a 20-minute transfer atMakassar Airport in South Sulawesi.

I took the opportunity to look around the new terminal, built in 2008, and itsbright, modern interior put gloomy, dull Soekarno-Hatta to shame.

Stepping off the plane at Ambon’s Pattimura Airport, I was immediately awarethat I was quite far away from home, both physically and psychologically.

The way people looked, talked and called to each other was different, andthat’s what I’m after when traveling. Ambonese people tend to be tall,dark-skinned and speak in fast, high-pitched voices that get even faster nearthe end of their sentences.

The first thing that excited me was when I heard people use the word “beta,”which means “I” in its land of origin.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Time for North Maluku to become tourist destination

TheMinistry of Culture and Tourism will promote North Maluku as a touristdestination besides the already existing ten, an promotion official of theministry said.

Deputy Director for Promotion of Destination Area V of the Ministry of Cultureand Tourism Diah Widiati said here on Sunday that ten tourist destinationsregistered by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) are Bali, West Java,Central Java, East Java, Jakarta, North Sumatra, Lampung, South Sulawesi, SouthSumatra, Banten and West Sumatra.

Actually, East Indonesian province has the potential of cultural and tourismwhich can lure a great number of local and foreign tourists if it is introducedproperly, Diah Widiati.
"Thus, we promoted North Maluku, in the hope of attracting moretourists," she said.

Apart from intensifying tourism promotion, Diah said that her office alsorequired the provincial administration to prepare proper transportation andaccommodation facilities for the tourists.

Data obtained from the provincial administration showed that only 1,500tourists visited North Maluku in the January-April, 2011, period.

According to her, a similar problem is also facing Papua province which was notregistered by the Central Statistics Agency as one of Indonesia`s touristdestinations although Papua has fascinating undersea wealth.

One of the tourism potentials which can attract tourists to Papua province is "PulauRaja Empat". a beautiful island with fascinating undersea wealth.

Garudapassengers to enjoy special Maluku cuisine

Eastbound passengers of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will soon be servedwith typical Maluku foods.

In a bid to make Garuda Indonesia passengers have a pleasant flight whileenjoying special foods from Maluku, the company is currently exploring thepossibility of cooperating with the province`s culinary entrepreneurs, capableof supplying local foods to be served on Garuda flights.

On June 3, 2010 Garuda resumed its Jakarta-Ambon route with a stopover inMakassar, South Sulawesi.

The Jakarta-Makassar-Ambon route is being served with aircraft having acapacity for 14 to 16 business-class seats and 120 economy-class seats.

Garuda Ambon branch manager Hendra Sumarno said in Maluku provincial city ofAmbon on Tuesday that the possibility of cooperation with the province`sculinary entrepreneurs was being explored.

"We are currently exploring the possibility of cooperation with culinaryentrepreneurs who can produce traditional Maluku dishes for Garudapassengers," Hendra Sumarno said.

Hendra admitted that since Garuda resumed its Jakarta-Ambon route in July lastyear, he had been thinking about a concept of serving regional typical foods topassengers of the national flag carrier during its flights.

"For several domestic and overseas destinations we serve passengers withsome regional typical foods, and for Jakarta-Amsterdam flights we serve themwith Javanese typical food namely `nasi tumpeng` or rice cone," Hendrasaid.

In October 2010, Garuda Indonesia in cooperation with the Maluku Culture andTourism Office also realized Ambon-Amsterdam route by making use of"Family Trip" program.

"The most important thing is the public awareness to maintain the naturalbeauty of Ambon and its supporting facility to make foreign tourists feel athome," Hendra said.

While for Jakarta-Ambon flights, he said the Garuda passengers were served withMakassar typical food so they wanted to replace it with special cuisine fromMaluku.

"We are at present incessantly doing business transformation to easternIndonesian regions with special service and presentation of regional typicalfoods," he added.

According to him, a team of selectors from Jakarta would go to Ambon forsurveying which culinary entrepreneurs were eligible to serve their typicalfoods to Garuda passengers.

"If we find eligible culinary entrepreneurs who can meet the standard ofGaruda to serve the passengers with Maluku typical foods, we will cooperatewith them," Hendra said.

He added that reasonable service and foods with regional characteristics wouldmake Garuda`s Ambon bound passengers enjoy a comfortable flight.

Nicknamed "Ambon Manise" (Sweet Ambon), the island has views whichare never boring, because wherever one may go, he or she can see the clear bluesea, fused with the green mountains in the distance.

Ambon also has charming and very impressive beaches such as Tanjung beach atLeitimur Peninsula that boats captivating sunset views, Namalatu beach withbeautiful sea gardens at Latuhalat village, white sandy Natsepa beach near thevillage of Suli, and Liang beach at Liang village.

No wonder, Hendra Sumarno said Garuda Indonesia continued to promote the islandcity of Ambon in its cabin magazine with photos and data about tourism.

He said the cover of the magazine displayed Ambon`s marine tourism enchantmentwith "Oh, the Beauty of Ambon Manise" on it.

The magazine is made available on every seat of Garuda aircraft on domestic andoverseas routes.

"The Garuda magazine promoting Ambon tourism is bilingual, Indonesian andEnglish, in an effort to facilitate English speaking passengers to know moreabout Ambon with its hospitable people," Hendra said.

The magazine also displays photos of and data on Ambon`s marine tourism,Waisalaka egg-eating giant eels at Waai village, Amsterdam fort, old mosquesand churches, as well as typical Pantai Natsepa fruit salad of Suli village.

"We are part of Ambon tourism component and therefore, since resuming itsroute to Pattimura airport in June this year Garuda Indonesia has been tryingto make local government program in tourism sector here a success," Hendrasaid.

Airport management company PT Angkasapura-I General Manager Reggynald Kronesthas said Pattimura International Airport in Ambon was also ready to serveinternational flights from Seoul, South Korea.

Reginald has ever said that Pattimura airport had an international standardwith adequate supporting facilities, and therefore it was set to serveinternational flights from other countries including South Korea for businesspurposes.

That is the reason why the Pattimura branch of PT Angkasapura-I has preparedadequate facilities to support Pattimura as an international airport in easternIndonesia.

Reggynald said that even good coordination has been made with relatedinstitutions to support the airport`s services.

"The airport has adequate facilities because we have made a goodcoordination with related institutions such as the immigration to occupy aspace which has been made available at the airport," Reggynald said at thetime.

"So far international flights have yet to be scheduled, and if thishappened, the immigration will occupy the room prepared for it," he said.

Reggynald admitted that Dutch people of Maluku origin were also looking forwardto Amsterdam-Ambon straight flights.

"We are also ready to serve direct flights from and to Amsterdam, theNetherlands, because most of the passengers wanted to visit Maluku to meet withtheir relatives," he said.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Sail Morotai" promoted in s Korea

TheNorth Maluku province would host "Sail Morotai" in 2012.

Therefore, during his visit to South Korea, North Maluku Governor Thaib Armaiynwould promote that international maritime and yachting event there, Acting Headof Morotai district, Sukemi Sahab, said.

"Governor Thaib Armaiyn are now in the Republic of Korea. During hisvisit, he will promote the Sail Morotai to the South Korean communitymembers," he told ANTARA on Tuesday.

The governor was in South Korea to join the Investment National CoordinatingBoard`s investment promotion mission. Besides that, he would also introduce theSail Morotai to South Koreans, he said.

For North Maluku, the Sail Morotai was a meaningful and strategic internationalevent because it would put the province on to the world`s tourism andinvestment maps, he said.

The comings of foreign tourists and sailors to the Sail Morotai events wouldintroduce the greatness of North Maluku province`s tourism and investmentpotentials, he said.

"For the Morotai Island district, Sail Morotai will positively contributeto tourism, investment, and infrastructure construction," he said.

In making the Sail Morotai get success, the North Maluku provincial governmenthad proposed a budget of about 200 billion rupiah to central government inJakarta.

The government`s funds would be used for preparing basic infrastructures suchas roads, bridges, airport, and public facilities to support the Sail Morotaiin a short time, he said.

This international event was initially introduced by President Susilo BambangYudhoyono when officiating the move of North Maluku capital from Ternate toSofifi, he said.

In 2010, the annual event of Sail Indonesia had a theme of "SailBanda" in which the Maluku provincial government was the host.

As part of the promotion strategies and ways to welcome the sailors, the hostdid not only organize communal festivities and cultural events but alsoprovided their guests with tourism and investment booklets.

Through this annual yacht event, Indonesia is expected to remain in the routemap of international sailors as one of the secure marine tourism destinations.

Over the past years, the Sail Indonesia`s participating international yachtsstart sailing to the Indonesian waters from Darwin, the capital of Australianstate of Northern Territory.

Among the participating skippers were from the United States of America, NewZealand, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, andSwitzerland

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Convergence" wins Sail Banda 2010

Theyacht "Convergence" skippered by Randolph Kent Repass of the US, hasbeen declared the champion of the international marine event Sail Banda 2010.
Randolph was therefore on Tuesday night presented with the Maritime Affairs andFisheries Minister`s trophy by Maluku Vice Governor Said Assagaff at a ceremonyheld at Tantui Nusantara Fish Port as the mooring location of the yachtsparticipating in Sail Banda.

Convergence, a multi-hull yacht from the US, was the first to arrive at BandaIsland on Monday, July 26, 2010 at 4.45 p.m. Eastern Indonesia Standard Time(WIT) after being flagged off at Darwin`s Cullen Bay, Australia, on July 24.

The second yacht to arrive in Banda was "Pegasus" of England, skipperedby Jason Charles Lawrence, who was eligible to receive the Maluku Governor`strophy.

While "First Light III" of Australia, skippered by Bernard JohnMcGoldrick, came in third as it arrived in Banda at 8 on Tuesday morning, July27. Bernard received the Sail Banda Committee`s trophy.

The first three yachts were followed by six others, namely "Catspaw"of England which was skippered by Peter Richard Whitby, "Magnetic" ofNew Zealand by Trevor Clifford Clark, "Erica" of New Zealand by ErickFrederik Gray, "Umbra Luna" of Australia by Dale Lynn Clemons, and"Miranda I" of Australia by Goyffrey Philip Rawlins Birch.

Sail Banda 2010, organized by the central government in cooperation with Malukuprovincial administration, is participated in by 49 yachts from five countries.

Friday, September 9, 2011

At Sail Banda 2010, SBY Sees Hope For Maluku

Theheavy downpours may have battered the port of Ambon during Tuesday’s peak eventof Sail Banda 2010, but it failed to temper the excitement felt by thousands ofAmbonese residents. The port was crowded with people trying to catch a glimpseof President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, First Lady Ani Yudhoyono.

In great anticipation, the crowds lined both sides of the streets, includingschoolchildren, who were dismissed early to join the throngs of people, waitingpatiently in the rain.

In his speech Yudhoyono said that with Sail Banda 2010 the country would usethe momentum to promote Indonesian marine diversity and to help develop remoteislands.

Sail Banda 2010 is an international maritime event aimed at showcasing howMaluku has overcome years of conflict.

Yudhoyono declared Maluku — long famed as the “Spice Islands” — as the“National Fish Belt”. “These areas have the potential of producing 1.64 milliontons of fish a year. This is a huge potential that will benefit the welfare ofthe people,” Yudhoyono said.

A parade of naval ships from Indonesia and the participating countries tookplace as part of the maritime event.

Joint operations have been carried out by the navies of Indonesia, Singapore,Australia, New Zealand and the United States to offer free health treatment toresidents in the run-up to Sail Banda 2010.

Also, a choir sang the song Rinduku Padamu (My Longing For You). The song,written by Yudhoyono, is the title song of his first album launched in 2007.

Sail Banda 2010 will be completed on Indonesian Independence Day on Aug. 17.