Jakarta, Acehtrend.co – Paul Von Wiese, captain of Calypso yacht, was impressed with the performance of Sabang officers manning the One Stop Service office at the CT3 BPKS pier for completing the yacht checking process within a matter of minutes.
Sabang officers broke the fastest checking record as in other Indonesian regions, it could take up to five days, according to Paul who had come with his wife, Mauren Von Wiese, to Aceh for the Sabang Marine Festival (SMF).
The festival started on April 26 and will last till April 30, 2016. He underwent the check-in process at Sabangs pier on April 24.
“The process was excellent, very practical, and it did not take much time. Two years ago, we had spent five days to check-in, but this time, it needed just a few minutes at the Sabang port,” he said on April 26.
The Captain of Swift Colin, Michael Wright, also lauded the cutting down of red tape in Indonesias seaports.
“We hope this system could be maintained because good services like this will certainly attract many more yachts to visit Sabang,” Colin Wright said.
Deputy Chairman of the Sabang Free Trade Zone in Charge of Commercial and Investment Syarifuddin Chan said the checking process for a yacht now takes just 90 minutes at the most, thanks to the One Stop Service Office.
Rapid checking process has been very useful for those participating in the Sabang Marine Festival being held in Sabang, Indonesias westernmost province of Aceh.
At least 20 yachts are participated in the festival.
The festival is aimed at promoting maritime tourism in Sabang. In particular, it is also aimed at attracting yachts, Head of the Sabang Regional Management Board Fauzi Husin stated in Sabang recently.
“Every activity organized during the Sabang Marine Festival 2016 should have a direct impact on the Sabang community, especially in the economic sector, through its tourism,” he noted.
The festival features wind surfing, paragliding, and cultural and art performances, as well as several competitions, among other things.
Chairman of the organizing committee Fauzi Daud affirmed that the festival was expected to help boost the economy of Sabangs residents.
Sabang is not just an ordinary island, but one of Indonesias best, according to legislator Noor Achmad.
He called on the tourism ministry to designate Sabang as a tourism icon for Aceh in particular and the country in general.
“Weh Isle (in Sabang) is very exotic and romantic. The western-most isle of Indonesia is surrounded by small islets,” he said when visiting Sabang.
The strategic location of Weh Isle located between the Indian Ocean and the Malacca Strait is easily accessible for both, domestic and foreign tourists.
“Every tourist will very much love the Sabang waters, because the coast is flat and shallow, very clean and clear. Its amazing,” he said.
Aceh Governor Zaini Abdullah has set a target of attracting one million tourists to Sabang in 2017.
He said the number of tourists to Sabang has increased annually, from 450 thousand in 2013 to 500 thousand in 2014, and 700 thousand in 2015.
The governor said the Aceh administration will intensify tourism promotion in order to achieve the one million target next year.
He also hoped to attract many more tourists from Malaysia and Muslim majority countries to enjoy halal tourism in Aceh which has imposed syariah (Islamic laws) in daily life.
Sabang Mayor Zulkifli H Adam in early April said fishing tourism would also be promoted to attract many more yachts to Sabang.
As long as tourists abide by the local regulations and fish only for on-location consumption and not for trading, fishing tourism is environment-friendly, he said.
The Indonesian authorities have eased entry permits for yachts in certain seaports, hoping that their yachting tourism will increase by the year 2019.
According to Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, they are hoping to have 8,000 yachts near their shores by the year 2019, including foreign yachts.
According to the Yacht Forum held in Jakarta last year, the Tourism Ministry is expecting 4,000 yachts by the year 2018.
The minister stated that the government has planned construction of some 100 marina infrastructures designed for maritime tourism.
As the worlds largest archipelagic nation, some 70 percent of Indonesias territory is water and it has 17,480 islands and a 92,000-kilometer long beach and coastal areas, the second longest after Canada.
It also has around 5.8 million square kilometers of marine territory, which constitutes a huge marine tourism potential.
The current government has identified marine tourism as having a huge potential, but it has so far been overlooked. (Antara)