TEMPO.CO, Kupang - The Ministry of Tourism has mapped Komodo Island as one of the 12 major marine tourist destinations in Indonesia.
The other destinations included in the list are Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, Derawan in East Kalimantan, Raja Ampat in Papua, Nias in North Sumatra, Mentawai in West Sumatra, Ujung Kulon in West Java, Anak Krakatau in Sunda Strait, Tomini in Central Sulawesi, and Bali and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.
"The twelve islands are included in the blueprint of the marine tourism development plan for natural resources and creative economy in promoting the brand Wonderful Indonesia," Welly Rame Rohimone, acting head of the provincial tourism and creative economy office, stated on Tuesday.
Komodo Island, the natural habitat of the Komodo dragon (Varanus kommodoensis), has been selected as one of the new seven Wonders of Nature. The tourist area is ideal for diving and cruise tourism.
"East Nusa Tenggara will be developed as Indonesias tourism gateway besides Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, and ten other islands," Rohimone noted.
The Komodo dragon in Komodo National Park can be found on the islands of Rica, Padar, and Komodo.
"Sail Indonesia, being held since 2009, has also been organized in East Nusa Tenggara in 2013 under the name of Sail Komodo," he emphasized.
Komodo Island, with a land area of 390 square kilometers, has a population of over 2,000.
The island has a beach with sand that appears pink as it contains a mixture of white sand and red sand, formed from pieces of Foraminifera.