Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tarakan island looks to Bali for its tourism development

Few have heard of Tarakan, an island located off East Kalimantan's north, but developers there are confident it will one day be known as Indonesia's "Little Singapore" and are looking to Bali's success story to realize their dream.

The Bali Tourism Board (BTB) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Tarakan municipality administration to increase awareness of the island as a tourist destination, including by advertising the location in Bali's promotional forays, such as websites, road shows and in brochures.

"The potential for tourism in Tarakan may well complement Bali's tourism industry and other tourism spots in Indonesia," BTB spokesperson Sang Putu Subaya told The Jakarta Post during a visit to Tarakan.

"The more varied and numerous our offers, the more interested tourists become in visiting Indonesia," he said.

Tarakan is approximately a third the size of Singapore and is home to 180,000 year rounders.

The slogan "Little Singapore", which was pushed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his visit to Tarakan, derives from the island's original function as a transit point for people entering and exiting Indonesia.

Tarakan's municipal administration has imposed some of Singapore's stringent hygiene regulations, including a strict waste-disposal system that requires that residents separate organic from inorganic garbage.

The island last year won the Adipura award for excellence in environmental management.

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