TEMPO.CO, Kupang - East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration is determined to close Komodo National Park in 2020 despite protests from Tourism Ministry. NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat through the regional spokesman Marius Jelamu said the closure is initiated for the sake of natural preservation and conservation.
“The NTT administration wants to save komodo through conservation so its habitat and natural condition can be maintained as natural as possible,” said Marius, Tuesday, September 23. Therefore, the region rejected the Tourism Ministry’s recommendation to still open the park.
Marius explained the regional administration has not yet received or invited for a discussion on the study result by the ministry’s integration team, which concluded that the national park could still be opened for public.
“We are not only seeing the short-term interest of the tourism sector but also the long-term, on how to preserve Komodos habitat and ecosystem,” Marius underlined.
The local administration, he added, did not ban tourists from visiting the island as they would only conduct a conservation program. Besides, there are many tourist destinations on the island worth to visit.
As for the ministry’s objection, Marius said that NTT would further form coordination with the minister and his staffers. “We will soon coordinate with the central government to share the same perception regarding the closure of Komodo Island,” he said.
Previously, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya lamented the planned closure of Komodo National Park for tourism activities. As a result, several travel agents refused to promote cruise ship packages to the island.