PALANGKARAYA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, has been asked to focus on ecotourism in developing the potential of its tourism sector to become a world-class tourism destination.
Two ecological nature attractions, Tanjung Puting National Park-a global orang-utan conservation center, and Sebangau National Park-the largest peat swamp preservation area in Indonesia, can be used as the main capitals in realizing ecotourism.
"To make Central Kalimantan a world class tourist destination, it must be supported by world class attractions, amenities, and accessibility. The attractions of Tanjung Puting National Park are already world-class. As for accessibility, the Tjilik Riwut Airport terminal in Palangkaraya is soon ready to become an international airport. This is what all tourism stakeholders in the province of Central Kalimantan must fight for, "said Indonesia Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya when inaugurating the M Bahalap Palangkaraya Hotel on Jalan RTA Milono Km 1.3, Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.
Arief Yahya accompanied by Indonesia Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita, Central Kalimantan Provincial Secretary Fahrizal Fitri, Managing Director of PT Harapan Agung Bersama Agus Ramli, GM of Bahalap M Hotel Harry Saptadi, and Chairman of the Dayak Indigenous Council of the Central Kalimantan Province H. Agustiar Sabran.
On that occasion, Arief Yahya explained that the Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangkaraya, which is developed on a area of 29,124 square meters with an existing runway length of up to 2,600 m that is planned to be extended to 3,000 m by AP II with an investment value of IDR480 billion, is very worthy of being an international-class airport.
"The existence of an international airport is a key requirement for Central Kalimantan to become a world-class ecotourism destination because it will have a direct effect on tourist visits there," he said.
The number of foreign tourists to Tanjung Puting National Park reached around 40,000 tourists last year, and this year it is projected to increase to 100,000 tourists. This can be used as a motivator so that there will soon be a surge in foreign tourists, especially to Tanjung Puting and Sebangau National Park which are still less promoted. "After having an international airport, it is expected that there will be a surge in tourists to Central Kalimantan," the Tourism Minister said.
Meanwhile for facilities and amenities, Arief Yahya proposed Central Kalimantan to develop accommodation facilities such as Klotok Boat as a traditional Kalimantan boat made of environmentally friendly wood.
According to him, the development of live-on-board facilities is in line with the development program of the Kahayan river tourism attraction that cuts through Palangkaraya. In addition, nomadic amenities in the form of glamp camping can be developed in Central Kalimantan. "Central Kalimantan has a tourist attraction on peatlands, nomadic could be an amenity suitable to be developed because it is easy, inexpensive, and does not interfere with the environment," said Arief Yahya.