As the country with the world’s second-longest coastline, Indonesia has yet to bank on its rich marine resources to support the growing number of superyacht visitors to Indonesia.
This is about to change reports Richard Lofthouse of Asia Pacific Superyachts in Bali while quoting reports from the Indonesian government about marina expansion in the territorial waters.
Most superyachts are attracted to the country’s spectacular islands and the abundance of natural beauty unchanged for thousands of years.
Now the government of Indonesian has some excellent plans, some already in effect, to ease yacht visitors’ arrival and departure.
The Governments President Joko Widodo has announced that Indonesia will build up to 10 ports in a push for maritime tourism, including cruise ship ports and marinas.
A cruise ship terminal in Benoa will be finished in August, and work has already begun to dredge the cruise terminal and would finish the work before the IMF-World Bank meeting in Bali in October next year.
The terminal, estimated to cost 1.7 trillion rupiah, is intended to accommodate ships and superyacht of at least 13-metre draught.
Tourism in Indonesia is dominated by cultural attractions, which draw more than half of the foreign visitors to the country, followed by nature”, said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.
The minister pointed to other potential maritime tourism activities the government sought to develop, such as yachting, cruising and diving. He highlighted the Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua, which are home to the planet’s most diverse fish and coral resources and have been named by CNN among ‘the world’s best diving sites’.
Supporting visiting yachts and fitting in well is Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia new branch office in Raja Ampat. The name translated means, ‘The Four Kings’, a name derived from the four major islands in the group nestled on the tip of Papua’s Birds Head peninsula in Raja Ampat.
A cruise through Raja Ampat takes a vessel through one of the world’s most exceptional marine areas and stunning sea and land scenes.
Renowned for its biodiversity, Raja Ampat encompasses over 40,000 square kilometres in the northeast seas of the Indonesian Archipelago where the Pacific becomes the Indian Ocean.
Diving is a popular activity amongst yachting visitors and the ministry has identified another 10 top diving sites it banks on for tourism, such as Bunaken in North Sulawesi, Derawan in East Kalimantan and Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
The Tourism Ministry plans to improve infrastructure and provide regulatory support to develop tourism and yachting in these areas.
Lofthouse notes, “Indonesia has so far simplified rules on yacht arrivals by waiving clearance approval for Indonesia territory (CAIT), which cuts the time for issuing entrance permits from three weeks to just three hours. It has also conditionally scrapped the cabotage principle by allowing passengers of foreign cruise ships to embark and disembark at five major Indonesian ports. We look forward to welcoming more yachts in 2018 in Bali and at the new APS branch in Raja Ampat. Indonesia awaits.”