Indonesia: Way Kambas to be leading tourist destination

Otniel Tamindael Antara 20 Feb 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The East Lampung district government in Lampung province is making every effort to turn Way Kambas National Park (WKNP or TNWK) into an international tourist destination.

Providing an excellent bird-watching location with the presence of the rare white-winged wood duck, the WKNP is home to critically endangered species such as Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, and Sumatran rhinoceroses.

With swamp forest, lowland rainforest, mangrove forest, and dry beach forest, along with expanses of grassland, this national park is an ideal habitat for thousands of different species and offers exciting opportunities for visitors to experience some of Indonesias most diverse wildlife.

"That is why we are making efforts to develop Way Kambas and turn it into a national and international tourist destination," East Lampung District Head Chusnunia Chalim remarked Friday.

The Way Kambas National Park is an icon of East Lampung district, and has been visited and known by the people both nationally and internationally, Nunik, as she is familiarly called, noted.

East Lampung district is as a rich, beautiful, and interesting area with friendly people and a lot of tourist attractions, she asserted.

The Great Hall of the Way Kambas National Park is also drafting a strategy for the utilization of trained domesticated elephants in the Elephant Conservation Center as a tourist attraction, according to her.

In the meantime, TNWK Great Hall Public Relations Chief Sukatmoko said he was waiting for the rules of the government regarding the use of Elephant Conservation Center as a tourist destination.

"We are still waiting for the rules of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry on the utilization of the elephant, so it can be enjoyed more by the visitors," Sukatmoko remarked.

He stated that the WKNP Great Hall is currently designing the development of an ecotourism village as a secondary destination for visitors.

He noted that tourists visiting the ecotourism village in the WKNP will be able to experience the extensive flora and fauna and have the opportunity to witness and learn about the endangered Sumatran elephant, rhinoceros, and tiger along with a vast array of other exotic animals, such as monkeys, tapirs, leopards, and birds.

"The development of ecotourism aims to increase the number of tourist visits to the WKNP in addition to boosting the economy of the local community," Sukatmono noted.

He further explained that the ecotourism village also offers homestays, various handicrafts of the local village, and a variety of cuisines typical to the region for the visitors.

According to Sukatmono, the Great Hall of WKNP is collaborating with local NGOs to develop and manage the ecotourism village.

Given its numerous tourist attractions, the Indonesian province of Lampung has been encouraged to develop its tourism sector as an important source of foreign exchange and employment.

The rapid expansion of the tourism sector in Lampung province is expected to provide viable opportunities for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Accordingly, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Environment, Dwisuryo Indroyono Susilo, has urged the Lampung provincial administration to intensively develop and promote its tourism sector.

During a visit to the Lampung Museum in the provincial capital of Tanjungkarang some time ago, the minister expressed optimism about the fact that the museum can serve as a historical tourism asset that would attract both domestic and foreign tourists.

"I just wanted to see how good the museum is. Its collection is very interesting and significant for our historical heritage," Susilo remarked.

He noted that Lampung is very famous across the world because of the Krakatau island volcano, one of the most fascinating sites globally; and for agricultural commodities, such as pepper and coffee.

Given its central location, the Krakatau islands are accessible both from Jakarta through the province of Banten, and from Bandarlampung, the capital of the Lampung province.

The Krakatau islands are comprised of three small and beautiful islands: Rakata, Panjang, and Serdang.

The minister remarked that besides Krakatau, Lampung also has many other tourist attractions that have to be developed properly in order to draw domestic and foreign tourists.

In an effort to boost the number of tourist visits, the minister said the government will allow international cruise ships to pass through Lampung and anchor near the tourist attractions in the province.

"The government will allow the cruise ships to make a port call at Lampung for three or four days to enable the tourists to see as many tourist attractions as possible in the province," he remarked.

Susilo also noted that infrastructure and other supporting facilities on the islands should be improved in order to facilitate tourists journey to their desired destinations in Lampung.

"Good roads and transportation, electricity, and security must be improved so that the tourists visiting these spots can enjoy the experience and feel at home," the minister stated.

He also encouraged the Lampung provincial administration to make every effort to step up its international tourism potential to boost foreign tourist arrivals.

The provincial culture and tourism departments investment promotion agency spokesman Gatot Hudi Utomo said numerous private parties will be involved in the effort to ramp up the international tourism potential of the province.

Utomo pointed out that Lampung province has more than 150 tourist sites, but most of them are yet to be optimally managed.

"We will work towards optimizing the international tourism potential of the province," Utomo said, adding that the coastal areas in Lampungs Barat district offer good surfing opportunities for tourists and that infrastructure facilities in the province need to be improved accordingly.

"Besides, the tourism promotion agency should play a greater role in drawing as many foreign tourists as possible to Lampung," he stated.

With its white sandy beaches, pristine waterfalls, and lush nature preserves, Lampung is one of the many provinces in Indonesia that holds great appeal for international tourists.

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