The government plans to launch a cruise ship-based tourism program which will set sail from Bali to Labuan Bajo, Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT). It’s another program set to roll out for the IMF – World Bank meeting that’ll take place in Bali next year.
Tonny Budiono, Director General of Sea Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation, said that they had discussed the technical details of the program in a meeting headed by Maritime Coordinating Minister, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan.
“So it’ll go from Bali to Labuan Bajo,” Tonny said after the meeting in Jakarta on Wednesday (05/04), as reported by Katadata. “In Bali it’s going to sail from Tanjung Benoa. We really want to further develop the tourism there.”
But there are a few obstacles in implementing the program, namely the fact that large cruise ships for now aren’t able to lay anchor near Labuan Bajo Port because the port can only facilitate below 110-meters sized ships.
As a solution, the government is pushing for the collaboration between PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry and PT Pelindo III to expand the harbor into a marina that’ll have a special dock for cruise ships.
“Currently we have more than 10 cruise ships but they can’t dock there. So we still have to use small boats to reach those tourists area,” he added.
The 10 cruise ships are foreign-made but Tonny didn’t specify the country of origins nor the company that made them. He also wasn’t able to confirm how many ships that’ll eventually be ready for the Bali-Labuan Bajo tourism program.
Budi Karya Sumadi, the Minister of Transportation, has said that the governor of NTT will soon sign a MoU with a major company. The MoU is for the provision of cruise ships for tourism purposes by Pacific Eden Cruise Ships.
“The cruise ship can cater up to 1,200 people. In Labuan Bajo we will build a terminal for the marina,” Sumadi said. Tourism development has become a mission for Luhut as he’s part of the committee for the IMF – World Bank 2018 meeting. He wants to take advantage of the momentum to promote tourism. “So the question is, how do we direct these 18 thousand people coming in for that event to become tourists in Indonesia,” Luhut said.
He also wants to use the momentum from the IMF event to boost investment in the country. “I want to be able to approach those great CEOs so that they’ll invest in Indonesia.”