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."

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