Manokwari Proposed as Second Strategic Tourism Area for West Papua
West Papua province’s plans for tourism boost with a proposal of a second strategic tourism area.
The West Papua Government is focusing on the huge potential for tourism offered by Manokwari, South Manokwari, and Arfak Highland. They are part of a master plan currently being drafted for the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) and the Vice President. Manokwari, South Manokwari, and Arfak Highland will form a second strategic tourism area.
Known as Kawasan Strategis Pariwisata Nasional (KSPN), this initiative is part of Indonesia’s Infrastructure Development Strategy. The establishment of a second KSPN is in accordance with Presidential Instruction No 9, 2020, requiring regions to make economic breakthroughs.
The primary KSPN area, Sorong-Raja Ampat, occupies West Papua’s western tip. While Manokwari is the capital, Sorong is the largest city in the province, and both offer tremendous potential for tourism. By initiating a second KSPN, the West Papua Government hopes to strengthen the tourism sector, a mainstay of its economy.
The West Papua Research and Development Agency (Balitbangda) recently held a seminar on developing these districts as a second KSPN. As both the Vice President and Bappenas have responded to the proposal, Balitbangda is in the midst of drafting a master plan.
West Papua’s Idyllic Tourist Havens
As the second-least populous Indonesian province, West Papua’s Raja Ampat islands are known for their unique and rich marine biodiversity. With over 1,700 islands, its accolades include a 2012 Real Wonders of the World listing. Also called the Miracle of Papua and Underwater Paradise on Earth, it has gained popularity with locals and foreigners. In addition, its geopark has attained fame as one of the most beautiful in the region.
Acclaimed as one of the world’s Top Ten most beautiful diving sites, it is world-renowned for its marine biodiversity. Raja Ampat’s azure waters contain approximately 75% of the global coral reef population. Its abundance of marine life has earned Raja Ampat islands the prestigious title of Capital for Fish in the World.
Gearing Up for a Robust Tourism Sector
The boost for tourism is expected to be exponential with the addition of Manokwari, South Manokwari, and Arfak Highland. As a second strategic tourism area, they offer all the hallmarks much sought after by tourists. Their unique ecological diversity and natural beauty will be a tremendous boon in reviving Indonesia’s tourism industry.
Manokwari’s Gunung Table Natural Tourism Park is being touted as a biodiversity museum to bring in the numbers. In addition, South Manokwari’s Ransiki chocolate factory and Arfak Highlands’ Anggi Lake have the potential for revival and development. Indonesia has always been a popular tourist destination and is planning to usher in a more robust tourism sector soon.
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