Indonesia has been awarded as The Most Beautiful Diving Destination 2016 during Diving and Resort Travel Expo 2016 (DRT) held Taipei, Taiwan, on June 17-19.
"We had closely observed Indonesia for this award. We went directly to Indonesia. We dived, we witnessed the beauty of Indonesia. We made coordination with our team in Indonesia. And finally, we decided that Indonesia deserves this award," Chairman of the DRT Organizing Committee Jason Chong said during the award presentation ceremony.
The award was received by Vincensius Jemadu, assistant to the Deputy for Asia and Pacific Market Development of the Tourism Ministry, in Taipei on Friday, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
Indonesia has over 700 diving and snorkeling spots which are extraordinary beautiful, according to Jemadu.
The spots include Sonegat, Keraka Isle, Syahrir Batu Kapal, Hatta Isle, Ai Isle.
Similar spots are also found in Bunaken and Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi Province, in Wakatobi Marine National Park in Southeast Sulawesi, and on Weh Island in Aceh Province.
Labuan Bajo and Komodo Isle, as well as Rinci Isle in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Alor Isle waters in Derawan, East Kalimantan Province, and Cenderawasih Bay and Raja Ampat in West Papua, are also known for amazing diving and snorkeling spots.
Having over 17 thousand islands and located in the center of the Coral Triangle Area, Indonesia is the best choice for diving tourism.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said Indonesia has huge potential because two third of the worlds coral and biodiversity are in Indonesia.
The minister said he was not surprised that Indonesia won the award, but it would have been strange if the country did not receive the award.
"Please find spots comparable to ours. Our nature attractions are unbeatable," he said.
Seven of the 10 priority tourist destinations being developed and promoted by the government are maritime tourist resorts comprising coastal, underwater and sea zones.
He said his ministry will continue to boost the promotion of marine tourism. (Antara)