Pointed at preserving the ecosystem, the Raja Ampat local government in West Papua intends to tighten ordinance on cruise tourism by working out a circular to anticipate more cruise vessels from smashing its coral reefs.
The circular will expect operators and agents of cruise ships desiring to sail to Raja Ampat to hire locals on board and to fund a deposit to the Raja Ampat government to guarantee the protection of the island’s ecosystem.
The deposit, which will be refunded at the end of the trip, will differ from 100 million rupiahs (US$7,068) for a yacht to one billion rupiahs for a cruise ship.
The move is in answer to several cruise ships hitting the coral reefs in the seas of Raja Ampat
The move is in answer to the separate events of KLM Lamima, MV Caledonian Sky, and Aqua Blu hitting the coral reefs in the seas of Raja Ampat from March 2017 to January 2020, according to I Wayan Dumya, project manager of G-Tour.
The repetitious occurrences, he said, had prompted the local government and industry players, such as travel agents like G-Tour, to meet in several meetings to craft ordinances that sounded the spirits of conservation, education, and empowerment in a bid to prevent repeat incidents.
Wayan said: “The local government is infuriated at the incidents because no one wants to take obligation for the destruction of the coral reefs.”
The local government recommended imposing a deposit to make cruise ships more careful, according to Wayan, who had attended the meetings.
However, he added, industry players, opposed the plan because it would be challenging to execute. In the meetings, they also discussed that the proposed deposit could make more travelers reluctant to visit Raja Ampat because the ordinances would be more complicated.
The meetings did not result in any decision
The meetings did not result in any decision. Therefore, Wayan said he was amazed by the issuing of the circular, which he said did not include industry players like himself.
For Ketut Sediya Yasa, managing director of Destination Asia Indonesia, what he considered more significant than imposing a deposit is giving distinct guidelines on safe tracks through which certain classes of cruise ships may pass and anchor.
If the government could present such information and impose those rules, forcing a deposit would be unnecessary, he said.
Questioning the intention behind getting cruise ships to fork out a deposit, he said: “Is it to prevent them from escaping after damaging the coral reefs? I think it won’t be effortless for them to do so since they are so big. They also have an agent in Indonesia who would certainly have coordinated with the local government and related stakeholders before the arrival of the ships.”
Ketut opinioned that if implemented, the circular could hit the tourism sector in Raja Ampat because it complicated the process and may make cruise ships reluctant to visit.
Lack of communication technology in Raja Ampat, he continued, would also pose a dilemma to operators and owners of cruise ships when they have to deal with the deposit transaction.
The circular is not conclusive yet, according to Fransiskus Xaverius Teguh, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy expert staff on sustainable development and conservation.
The central government agreed
Fransiskus stated that while the Raja Ampat administration had the authority to issue the circular, he had called on the local government to discuss with other stakeholders, including other tourism players, first as a way to achieve quality tourism in Raja Ampat.
“We central government agree that the regulation is produced to protect and conserve the ecosystem in a sustainable way. What should be emphasized is that Raja Ampat’s natural resources, including the beauty of its coral reefs, must always be preserved and not exploited excessively. Therefore, an ordinance is necessitated to prevent (ships) from being focused in main areas,” Fransiskus said.
“We will advocate more intensively and give (the local government) a fuller picture (on conservation) in a bid to prevent regulation (made by the local government) from being counterproductive,” he added.
This news refers to TTG Asia, published on March 6, 2020, under the title “Raja Ampat’s plan to claim deposit on cruise ships sparks outcry among trade.”
I got to know about Lintang Buana from a friend who had toured Bromo and Ijen with their help. After a lot of emails back and forth, we decided on a 7 day East- Central Java tour and it was absolutely wonderful! They were extremely prompt in replying to emails and text messages and helped me even with the most trivial doubts that I had. They accommodated every single constraint of mine and suggested places to stay, eat etc. that would suit my budget. In the end, we did end up staying in extremely comfortable hotels and dorms.Special thanks to Ms. Nukeu and Mr. Singgih from the Bandung office who helped me with a really fun itinerary! We had absolutely wonderful guides on the three legs of our tour. They were pretty impressive and incredibly proactive. The drivers were also very nice and made sure we stuck to the time in our itinerary.We were a bunch of vegetarians traveling to Indonesia and I had mentioned this a couple of times during my correspondence with Lintang Buana. They ensured the availability of vegetarian food in all the places we went to, in the Pekalen river rafting and the Prambanan Ramayana Ballet. Seriously, the food at the Ramayana ballet was the best that we ate in Indonesia!They helped us at every step during the planning of our trip and once we reached Surabaya, we had absolutely no work to do. Everything instruction in our itinerary and the emails were followed and their planning was flawless! I would definitely reccomend Lintang Buana to people who want to see Indonesia for the absolutely beautiful place that it is and to help them plan their trips.
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Lintang Buana took me from Surabaya to Mt Bromo, Ijen and Sukamade in August this year. I'm travelling around Asia for a year. Normally, I don't use tour companies but I was finding it a little difficult to organise what I wanted to do independently in the time I had.Organisation was great. All pieces of the trip fitted together perfectly.A couple of points which could be improved: 1) we set off mid-morning on a Friday but then stopped for an hour for Friday prayers whilst still in Surabaya! No problem with stopping for prayers, but I think it would have been better to set off afterwards, as there was little to do once we reached our destination for the first night. 2) the hotel in Banyuwangi was somewhere to get some sleep for a few hours between 5pm and setting off for Ijen at 11.30pm. Unfortunately, there was a karaoke lounge facing my room, so I didn't manage to get any sleep 🙁Huge thank to the guys for returning a tee shirt that I left in one of the hotels. It was my favourite tee shirt! They collected it from the hotel and kept it safe until I was back in Indonesia. They then couriered it to my hotel in Jakarta. So impressed and happy! Thanks a million!
We are very satisfied with our trip to Flores and Komodo which is well managed. Below we share our experience…-Wrap up Flores and Komodo trip-Started from Ende, we met our guide and driver provided by Lintang Buana tourism service, we straight to Moni village by 2 hours drive and stayed at Kelimutu Ecolodge. Sunrise hunting was started at 4am, first hiking in shahur time a little hard for kids. Fortunately p*pm*e is available on the top, hot noodles � perfect for chilly time meanwhile mommy happy with the coffee �.After breakfast at the lodge, the trip was continued to Bajawa town passing by to Ende to visit Soekarno house � where our first president spent his years of exile in Ende. Unfortunately it was close on Sunday so we just saw it from outside. We had lunch at Penggajawa beach or famous as blue stone beach. We arrived at Bajawa after 2.5h driving and stayed at Happy-Happy .The day after we were visiting Bena village as one of traditional village in Flores. Flores has different tribes over the land, each tribe has their own believe and culture. Bena people believe that their ancestral spirit will always live with them and stay on megalith stones as provided in the village. In the afternoon we started to drive again about 3h to Ruteng before Labuan Bajo. Stayed overnight in Ruteng monastery to enjoy the landscape and spider rice fields of Cancar in the morning.Ruteng to Labuan bajo was about 3-4 hours drive with magnificent landscapes. We saw the hill of Wae Rebo but not part of our trip. Next time maybe when our feet stronger � and hopefully by that time the trip to go there also shorter and better than now ��…too many wishes from lazy persons such us �Finally arrived at Labuan bajo, we straight to our boat as our home for 3 days and had lunch while it sailed to first stop Rinca island to meet the dragons. Having met them, we enjoyed sunset near to Kalong (big bat) island to see hundreds of bat � flew out to the other islands for dinner. The boat then moored near to Papagarang island which the wave quite and allow us to sleep tight.In the morning we were snorkeling to Pink beach near Komodo island then continue to Padar island to hike in the afternoon. Quite hot along the day so we choose to leve-leve on the boat before enjoying sunset from Padar hill.Last day on boat started by watching Malta playing with the wave. How lucky we were to see lots of them clearly just from the boat. The day closed by snorkeling at Kanawa, lots of fish � and starfish �.We had overnight at Puri Sari beach hotel waiting our flight back.Thanks to Agung Yoga Asmoro who arrange this trip for us and understand what we need ���
We contacted lintang buana tours to arrange an unforgettable itinerary from Indonesia. I was immediately told Yoga that offered me a spectacular ride. He greeted us personally upon our arrival in Yogyacarta and we found out that he was our guide. Both Yoga and his partner (a driver whose name I don't remember) were exceptional in leading the way: always careful to respond to our requests, the can always waiting for our tours and always available to do small program changes at our request. They made our trip unforgettable: they made us feel comfortable. I recommend to all this agency for the seriousness and the passion that the members use to make the trip unforgettable. Thanks for everything Yoga
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Our Bandung holiday with Lintang Buana was one of our most memorable Indonesian getaways. We had a very experienced driver who took us around busy streets patiently and expertly. Communications with Mr. Agung were made easy with prompt replies and he was most accommodating. Thank you, Lintang Buana for an excellent service provided.
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