Bintan, a tourist resort island close to Singapore as well as to Malaysias Johor Bahru, in the Riau Island Province, is now ready to greet foreign tourists and local visitors expected to arrive during the post-fasting Lebaran holidays.
Millions of Muslims across the country are expected to visit or even spend holidays in tourist resort areas after having fasted for one whole month and subsequently celebrated the Ied Fitr or Lebaran festivities.
Lebaran revelers in Riau Islands or those from other provinces in Sumatra can enjoy their Lebaran holidays in Bintan Island. Bintan is one of the tourist resorts being developed by the government to help achieve its target to attract 20 million tourists by 2020.
The rising number of well-known tourist resorts in the country with world-class facilities, such as those in Bintan, will help increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals, thus making it possible for the country to achieve its foreign tourism target.
Additional tourism facilities such as those in Bintan will provide better hospitality. These will not be inferior to those offered in other places.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Bintan, Riau Islands, offers 10 tourist destinations for holidaymakers visiting during the post-fasting Lebaran holidays.
The ten places are Pantai Lagoi Bay beach, Lagoi Love Lock Plaza, Lagoi Mangrove Tourism, Dugong Trikora beacg, Pasir Putih white sandy beach, Kota Kijang Park, Pantai Sakera beach, Museum Bahari maritime museum, Antam Kijang Relief park and Bukit Batu religious tourism destination.
The Pantai Lagoi Bay beach is a beach area with hotels, shopping centers and cafes. The beach is neat and clean with beautiful flower plantation.
It is located in an exclusive area and a number of tourists visit it. They do not have to pay any charge to access the beach.
Lagoi Love Lock Plaza is a place where lovers can celebrate their love. A large number of young tourists visit this place.
Lagoi Mangrove Tourism offers adventurers a wonderful walk along a stretch of mangrove belt where they can see different kinds of flora and fauna. At night, colorful fireflies dot the area.
Dugong Trikora beach in the Riau Islands is famous for its white sands and crystal clear sea water. It is just the right place for enjoying a day with loved ones.
Pasir Putihs white sandy beach is not only blessed with a great scenery but also has incredibly beautiful undersea attractions for tourists, who come not only from various parts of the country but also from abroad.
Kota Kijang Park is an interesting tourist destination for families to witness rare "kekah" or "presbytis natunae" monkeys who are only found in the Natuna Islands.
Pantai Sakera beach often witnesses families getting together to enjoy the beautiful sea.
Bahari maritime museum features special maritime miniatures of Bintan origin such as kelong (place where one catches anchovies), pompong boat etc.
Antam Kijang Relief park is located in the city center in East Bintan District. This park has several reliefs depicting bauxite mining process.
Bukit Batu religious destination is a place which locals believe to be the sacred tomb representing the Malay history on the Bintan Island.
Bintan has since last year offered exciting beach and shopping destinations, following the official inauguration of Lagoi Bay and Plaza Lagoi Mall by Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the end of May last year.
Lagoi Bay and Plaza Lagoi Mall are located right by the beach so tourists can shop in the mall and then dive straight into the sea, or chat with friends while enjoying a cold drink and snacks on the veranda, watching the sun set slowly over the South China Sea.
The anchor tenant at the mall is Pasaraya, a popular mall in Jakarta best known for its fine and wide array of Indonesian handicrafts, fashion, and genuine Indonesian cuisine from across the archipelago.
Lagoi Bay and Plaza Lagoi Mall are expected to be filled with activities and become the new heart of Bintan Resorts.
Built using modern contemporary design with Indonesian architectural touches, Plaza Lagoi Mall is spread over nearly 1,000 square meters of retail space, offering 60 shop units on two floors with a generous plaza for people to meet and chat.
Here, visitors can also find tourism-related information and a tour booking center, a baggage drop-off facility for those leaving by ferry to Singapore, as well as shower and changing facilities for those heading for the pristine beaches a few steps from the mall.
Other soon-to-open projects include the spectacular Crystal Lagoon at Treasure Bay, a crystal clear 6-hectare sea water lake that will be the first and largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.
In 2014, Bintan Resorts hosted 478,457 international and domestic tourists, recording a growth of 4.6 percent over that in 2013. The top growing markets are China (about 40 percent), Indonesia (about 12 percent) and India (about 9 percent).
According to Indonesias Official Tourism Website, http://www.indonesia.travel, Bintan is the largest island in the Riau Archipelago, which comprises almost three thousand large and small islands.
The islands stretch from the Straits of Malacca all the way to the South China Sea. The town of Tanjung Pinang is the capital of this province, located on the south-western shore of Bintan.
Bintan offers comprehensive accommodation facilities including hotels and resorts at Bintan Resorts and also in Tanjung Pinang and around the island.
Bintans main tourist attraction today is Bintan Resorts, a spectacular beach holiday destination in the northern part of the island, covering 23 thousand hectares along the entire sandy white coast that faces the South China Sea. (Antara)