Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Attractive saltwater lakes in Raja Ampat

Dozens of attractive saltwater lakes on several islands of Raja Ampat in the Indonesian province of West Papua add to its charms as a tourism destination.

Raja Ampat is rich in a diverse range of coral reefs, sea-grasses, mangrove forests and has unique and beautiful small islands.

Some of the islands in Raja Ampat have dozens of saltwater lakes with unique biota such as jellyfish.

Even in the Misool conservation area, there are more than 40 saltwater lakes and most of them are inhabited by jellyfish which do not sting.

The saltwater lakes with marine biota in Raja Ampat are not widely known and still need further research to determine their condition and functioning in detail.

Lately, the lakes with jellyfish have started to attract local and foreign tourists.

Those saltwater lakes are expected later to be an ideal setting for outdoor activities like rafting, canoeing, swimming and even fishing.

The existence of the lakes in Raja Ampat is expected to give maximum benefit to the local society and to attract more and more domestic and foreign tourists.

Unfortunately, some tourists have assessed that the tour rates offered by Raja Ampat were expensive and it may affect other travelers keen on visiting this tourist area.

"Raja Ampat is much more beautiful than Bali, but the tour rates are more expensive when compared to Bali," Sami Ninggoroh, a tourist of Indian descent who visited Raja Ampat along with some Japanese tourists, stated on Tuesday.

According to Ninggoroh, the Raja Ampat tour rates should be reconsidered as these are quite high, and may negatively impact visitors traffic.

"We have been to Bali and found that the services offered there were better while the travel rates were cheaper as compared to Raja Ampat," he pointed out.

Further, Ninggoroh opined that tourists visiting Bali will certainly want to revisit it, but visitors to Raja Ampat will think twice before planning another trip as it is quite expensive.

He noted that besides being costly, other issues in Raja Ampat also need to be addressed, especially with regard to the services, so that every visitor feels comfortable and craves to come back.

"The services offered by the people of Bali to the tourists are very good as they highly value the tourism sector. They serve the tourists in as best a way as possible. Similar approach should also be applied in Raja Ampat," he emphasized.

Ninggoroh stated that Raja Ampat, as a marine tourism attraction, was already popular across the world, but the tourism packages being offered should be made cheaper.

"The local governments must lower the tour rates and improve the tourism supporting facilities," he added.

Known as the most biodiverse marine habitat on earth, Raja Ampat is an ideal destination for both local and foreign tourists to relax and unwind.

The visitors to Raja Ampat have the opportunity to witness a multitude of marine habitats and coral reefs at one glance without having to swim a stroke.

Raja Ampat comprises four large islands and hundreds of dots and specks off the fragmented western corner of the land of Papua, the worlds second-largest island.

Most visitors arrive in Raja Ampat through Sorong, a city on the far west coast of Papua, which has an airport, army barracks, and a karaoke bar called Happy Puppy.

In less than two hours from Sorong, the visitors can reach Raja Ampat, where they can indulge in activities such as swimming, diving and snorkeling, or just relax.

Reaching Raja Ampat has now become easier as the Bahari Express fast boat, a public transportation service, is offering rides to foreign tourists from Sorong city to visit the tourist attractions there.

Raja Ampat is home to a multitude of attractions and experiences.

With thousands of people visiting Raja Ampats marine and natural attractions, visitors can skip the crowds and experience it all aboard the Bahari Express fast boat.

"Our ship serves not only the local passengers but also foreign tourists who want to visit Raja Ampat," explained Erwin, a Bahari Express crew member.

The ticket prices of Bahari Express from Sorong to Raja Ampat are only Rp125 thousand per person for economy class and Rp220 thousand per person for business class, and these rates are applicable for both local passengers and foreign tourists alike.

There is high interest among foreign tourists to take a ride on the Bahari Express boat as the services offered are satisfying and enjoyable.

"Every day, several tourists from different countries board the Bahari Express boat from Sorong to Raja Ampat," Erwin stated, adding that the ship serves the Sorong-Raja Ampat route twice daily.

There, the tourists can enjoy not only the beautiful marine biodiversity but also enjoy the scenic beaches and gain local insights into the history of Raja Ampat.

In terms of historic relevance, in the 15th century, the Raja Ampat Archipelago was part of the reign of Tidore Sultanate, a great kingdom centered in the Maluku Islands.

To run its government, the Sultanate of Tidore appointed four local kings to rule the islands of Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool, which are the fourth-largest until this day.

The term "Four Kings" who ruled the islands became the basis for the name Raja Ampat, which comprises some 610 islands, with a 753 kilometers long coastal line. (Antara)

Ministry promotes MICE tourism

The Ministry of Tourism is promoting the national tourism sector, working on ways to make the country an attractive destination to hold international events such as meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions (MICE).

The Deputy Assistant for Market Development for Europe, the Middle East, America and Africa, Nia Niscaya, said here on Monday that the ministry continues to promote the growth of MICE tourism industry.


The International Banking Conference held in Bali from April 29 to May 2, 2016 was one such MICE tourism activity. Hundreds of bankers from 14 countries, who are members of the Mashreq International Bank based in the United Arab Emirates, participated in the conference.
The Ministry of Tourism is targeting a growth of 10 percent in MICE tourism by 2019, leading to US$ 2.5 billion worth of earnings. Currently, MICE tourism claims a mere five percent of the total national tourism sector.


According to Nia, events such as the International Banking Conference will help the MICE-based tourism in Indonesia to grow.


"Usually, participants in such events bring along their family members and stay longer for a holiday in Bali," she said.


Participants in this conference had come from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, China and Nepal.
Nia hoped the conference will help establish Indonesia as an international MICE destination.


Data obtained from the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) in 2014 showed Indonesia was 42nd in the world with 76 international meetings.


Meanwhile, Singapore was ranked 29th with 142 meetings; Malaysia 30th with 133 meetings; and Thailand was at 33rd position with 118 meetings.


In the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions, Indonesia was ranked 12th, Singapore sixth, Malaysia seventh and Thailand eighth.


The government expects to push Indonesia to eighth position in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions by 2020. (Antara)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Jakarta J W Mariott 24% off today

Stay in the heart of Jakarta.

Fabulous 8.7 rated hotel.
Bargain price for 2 nights Rp 3,842,960, original price Rp 5,052,960. 
Free Cancellation, no prepayment needed.

JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta is located in the business district, a short walk from entertainment and shopping centres. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, 5 dining options and free parking.

Rooms at JW Marriot come with modern d├ęcor and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer views of the city. Each room is equipped with a safety deposit box, tea/coffee maker and flat-screen cable TV.

Guests can exercise at the fitness centre or visit the Alameda Spa & Health Club for a relaxing massage. The hotel also provides car rental and concierge services upon request.

Sailendra Restaurant features international buffets with live cooking stations and an open kitchen. It also has a walk-in wine cellar. Cocktails and live entertainment can be enjoyed at Blu Martini.

Marriott Jakarta is 3 km from Kembang Goela and 21 km from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
Setiabudi is a great choice for travellers interested in friendly people, nightlife and business

JL. Lingkar Mega Kuningan Kav E 1.2 No 1 and 2, Setiabudi, 12950 Jakarta, Indonesia Great location - show map 







Indonesia's Foreign Tourist Arrivals Rise 9% Year-On-Year in March

The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Indonesia rose 8.96 percent in March from a year earlier, following a 3.31 percent increase a month before, the statistics bureau said on Monday.
There were 806,118 tourists visiting Indonesia in March, compared with 768,118 in February, the bureau said. 

The number of foreigners visiting the country, including those passing through Indonesian borders from neighbouring countries and foreign workers with permits for less than year, was 915,019, it said. 

Indonesia’s government is keen to expand tourism to boost Southeast Asia’s largest economy. It aims to attract 20 million foreign visitors a year by 2019. Last year, 9.73 million tourists came.
As part of efforts to expand the sector, the government plans to allow greater foreign ownership in tourism-related businesses.(Jakarta Globe)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bali launches eco-tourism program in Nyambu Village

Bali officially launched an eco-tourism program in Nyambu Village in Kediri Subdistrict of Tabanan District on Friday (April 29) which offers ecological and historical tourism, featuring Balinese culture.

The Nyambu Ecotourism Village package was developed over a period of 18 months by the local administration, in collaboration with Wisnu Foundation, PT Langgeng Kreasi Jayaprima, a joint venture with Diageo, a beverage company, and the British Council.

"This tourism package offers nature and cultural potentials of Nyambu Village," Chief of Nyambu Village Ida Bagus Putu Sunarbawa said during the launch here on Friday.

The village, spread over an area of 380 hectares, still maintains 61 percent of its land area as rice fields and protects its 22 natural springs.

Visitors can also see the entire story of Bali in one village and how the rice fields have been developed and preserved over centuries through the local irrigation system called subak.

The ancient village has preserved its historical timeline which can be seen in the 67 temples built in 8th century during the Kediri Kingdom until the 13th century in the Majapahit era.

Director of British Council Indonesia Sally Goggin said the program of ecotourism development was a commitment between the government of Indonesia and the United Kingdom to pursue sustainable tourism development.

"It is aimed at stimulating economic growth in the village by building the capacities of the local community to manage the potential they have," Goggin said.

Before the launch, local people were trained for 18 months and the process was facilitated by the British Council and the Wisnu Foundation.

Following the launch, various training activities will take place to strengthen the villages social tourism enterprises such as community-based social enterprise management, financial management, a course on English for tourism and training in marketing.

The ecotourism activities will later be managed by the residents themselves in order to contribute to the empowerment of the villagers of Nyambu and provide wider economic and social benefits.

"People of Nyambu have great potential. It is an opportunity for them to perform," District Head of Tabanan Ni Putu Eka Wiryastuti said.

Meanwhile Diageos Chief Representative Adam Djokovic said through the eco-tourism package, the local community is involved in mapping and planning the tourism potential in the village.
"Besides, it also has the chance to re-explore the long history of their village," Djokovic said. (Antara)

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