Bawah Island to Compete in 2017 Indonesian Tourism Awards

The regional government of the Anambas Islands in Riau Islands province has nominated one of its natural attractions in the Most Popular Diving Spot category for this year's Indonesian Tourism Awards.

While the Anambas Islands might be unfamiliar to most casual tourists, the region is known for its exotic natural beauty. One of the most scenic areas is Bawah Island – named the most beautiful island in Asia in a 2013 survey conducted by United States-based television news network CNN. The island's underwater beauty has been compared to that of the Maldives.

Bawah Island will compete with nine other areas, including Gosong Senggora-West Kotawaringin district in the Banda Islands, Maluku; Karampuang Island in Mamuju district, West Sulawesi; and Tomia Island in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi.

"The waters of Bawah Island hold magnificent scenery and beauty. It is not surprising to see people from all over the world visiting only to snorkel and dive there," Anambas Islands Tourism Agency head Iwan K. Roni said in a statement on Monday (05/06).

The 2017 Indonesian Tourism Awards is a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and online tourism promotion platform ayojalanjalan.com. It encourages the public to vote for the best tourism destinations in Indonesia in 15 categories.

"The Indonesian Tourism Awards is a series of activities to encourage the public's appreciation of Indonesia's tourism attractions. The event is also meant to support the roles of various parties, especially regional governments, to promote tourism in their respective regions," said Esthy Reko Astuti, deputy for marketing development at the Tourism Ministry.

She added that this year's awards will allow regional governments to propose more categories, while members of the public get to vote for their popular destinations.
Online web voting for the 2017 Indonesian Tourism Awards can be done by sending a premium SMS to the hotline number 99386.

"The online voting for the public only allows one vote per email address. So, anyone trying to vote twice with the same email address will automatically be disallowed," Esthy said.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya has praised the efforts by private businesses to establish the awards for the best tourism destinations based on a public vote.

"Greater involvement by the public in assessing these destinations will also encourage the regional governments to maintain and improve their reputations to be the best," Arief said.

Voting in the 2017 Indonesian Tourism Awards will take place between June and October, with the awards ceremony set to take place in November.
Slightly more than 53,000 people – 8 percent of them from abroad – voted for destinations in 10 categories during last year's awards. (JakartaGlobe)

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