TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The West Manggarai administration, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), reported that only 400 out of 4,081 tourist ships operating in Labuan Bajo have been registered, while the rest 3,681 boats sail illegally and hail from outside the province.
The Regional Tourism Agency Head Agustinus Rinus said those mostly Phinisi boats gained benefits by sailing in Labuan Bajo without paying taxes to the regency government. “There are 400 registered boats so far, the rest are still being recorded,” said Agustinus in Kupang, Tuesday, July 21.
He reiterated that there were initially 56 legal tourist ships that had offices there, paid taxes, and contributed to the region’s revenue. The government along with the Komodo National Park officers had been, then, conducting inspections since February 2020, ensuring that the boats are registered in the business list of the regency.
The control, Agustinus added, brought positive impacts on hotels and restaurants in the area. Since then, the occupancy rate jumped up to 67 percent from previously just 40 percent.
“More people stay in hotels and eat in restaurants. So the contribution of hotels and restaurant taxes in Labuan Baju increased significantly,” said Agustinus, adding that the tourism activities in the area reached 75 percent, and that became the strength of the tourism in the region.