Tuesday, February 21, 2012

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.

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