East Kalimanta, is a province of Indonesia. Its territory comprises the eastern portion of Borneo. It has a population of about 3 million, and its capital is Samarinda.
East Kalimantan has a total area of 245,238 square kilometres (94,687 sq mi)and is the second least densely populated province in Kalimantan.The majority of the region shares a border to the east with West Sulawesi and North Sulawesi; its former northernmost region is now North Kalimantan; its south East Kalimantan borders the South Kalimantan. East Kalimantan's coastline faces the Makassar Strait and the Celebes Sea.
Apart from strengthening the renewable resources-based economy and agricultural sector, the East Kalimantan provincial administration is currently intensively promoting its tourism sector.
It has even put tourism at the top of its priority list; indeed, tourism is primed to become the new economic locomotive, alongside manufacturing.
The province is currently gearing up to hold the 2013 Derawan Festival, which will take place from Sept. 15 to 22 in Derawan Islands, Berau regency.
The Derawan Festival is part of a series of the 2013 Sail Komodo event. The Derawan Islands have become a prime tourist destination in East Kalimantan for their pristine beaches and marine attractions.
Derawan itself has also been designated as one of the 15 prime destinations in Indonesia by the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.
“We will continue to improve the supporting infrastructure at tourist sites, including promoting them, and holding national as well as international events, such as the Derawan Festival, which is aimed at encouraging visitors to come to East Kalimantan,” said Governor Awang Faroek Ishak in Samarinda recently.
“The huge potential that tourism has to offer has prompted the provincial administration to accelerate the development and improvement of tourist infrastructure in Derawan Islands, such as building an airport on Maratua Island, which is part of the Derawan Island chain, in the hope of providing easy access to visitors,” Awang said.
East Kalimantan is rich in natural resources like coal and gas. It makes the highest contribution to the country’s export output; it is third in terms of competitiveness after Jakarta and East Java, and is third in the value of foreign and local investment. The region, however, is prone to illegal logging and smuggling activities.
Over the past five years, the East Kalimantan administration has been improving and building support infrastructure for the tourism sector, such as roads, bridges, sea and airports, power and tap water.
It has also developed as many as 393 tourist sites since 2009, with the number increasing to 550 destinations in 2012. The developments include the restoration of the Pampang Cultural Village Hall and the building of parking lots at the Tanah Merah Waterfall and Samarinda Botanical Garden.
The administration has also revived the Yuvai Semaring resort in Krayan, Nunukan regency, and the Panji Sukorame reservoir in Tenggarong, Kutai Kartanegara regency.
A timber museum can also be found at the Panji Sukorame reservoir, which serves as a tropical forest education facility with its hundreds of different kinds of timber and leaves that have been preserved.
Besides that, in 2012, the administration also renovated the floating cultural hall on Lake Bahadaq, West Kutai.
The provincial administration, in collaboration with the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, has also enhanced the quality of its tourist-focused human resources through tourism workshops in Berau and Balikpapan, and it has been empowering local communities living in and around tourist sites in Bulungan and Nunukan.
The number of tourists to the province reached 1.3 million people in 2012, of which 26,149 were foreign visitors. They contributed around US$26 million to the provincial coffers, while domestic visitors contributed around Rp 468 billion ($44 million).
Earlier in July, East Kalimantan organized a prestigious cultural event in Kutai Kartanegara, namely the 2013 Erau Internatioanl Folklore and Art Festival, which was attended by members of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals (CIOFF) from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. (eTurboNews)