Sail Morotai 2012 Preparations Being Intensified
INDONESIA’s southernmost island of Morotai in North Maluku Province is famous not only for its natural and marine beauty but also for its historical tourism. It is also renowned for the beauty of its various coral reefs and decorative fish and tempting diving sites which the North Maluku provincial government has now started to spruce up in preparation of Sail Morotai 2012.
Broken bridges and roads in Morotai have been mended. Divers accommodations in the form of hostels and procurement of diving equipment have also been made available just to make the international marine event of Sail Morotai a success.
This year the local government will also build three docks in Morotai district for the upcoming Sail Morotai 2012.
"We will focus on the construction of three docks in Morotai because the new district is located in a border area where Sail Morotai will take place in 2012," North Maluku provincial administration spokesman Umar Hasan in Ternate as quoted from antaranews.com over the weekend.
According to him, the new district of Morotai got a special attention from central government. The construction of three docks in Morotai would receive funds amounting Rp2.1 billion from 2011 regional budget, and also from state budget, focused on supporting the public activity through sea transportation.
The docks will be located at the shipping route of the participants of Sail Morotai from foreign countries. Other supporting infrastructures at Morotai district would be improved for the success of the international marine event.
"Therefore the local government will build the three docks in Dodola, Posi-Posi, and Bere-Bere," Umar said, adding that the three locations were strategic and representative for the Sail Indonesian participants to visit Morotai.
In addition, he said the docks would be used to support the international marine event of Sail Morotai and to step up the local community`s economy and welfare.
Even North Maluku Governor Governor Thaib Armaiyn also discussed the preparation of Sail Morotai 2012 with Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad in September last year.
At the time Fadel said he supported the North Maluku`s initiative to host the event. During his visit to South Korea in September last year, Governor Thaib Armaiyn also promoted the international maritime and yachting event in the country.
Acting Head of Morotai district, Sukemi Sahab, said the governor during his visit promoted Sail Morotai 2012 to South Korean community members. The North Maluku governor visited South Korea to join the Investment National Coordinating Board`s investment promotion mission, in addition to introducing Sail Morotai to South Koreans.
“For North Maluku, the Sail Morotai was a meaningful and strategic international event because it would put the province on to the world`s tourism and investment maps. The comings of foreign tourists and sailors to the Sail Morotai events would introduce the greatness of North Maluku province`s tourism and investment potentials” he said.
He said, for the Morotai Island district, Sail Morotai will positively contribute to tourism, investment, and infrastructure construction. In making the Sail Morotai get success, the North Maluku provincial government had proposed a budget of about 200 billion rupiah to central government in Jakarta.
The government`s funds would be used for preparing basic infrastructures such as roads, bridges, airport, and public facilities to support the Sail Morotai in a short time. This international event was initially introduced by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono when officiating the move of North Maluku capital from Ternate to Sofifi.
In 2010, the annual event of Sail Indonesia had a theme of "Sail Banda" in which the Maluku provincial government was the host. As part of the promotion strategies and ways to welcome the sailors, the host did not only organize communal festivities and cultural events but also provided their guests with tourism and investment booklets.
Through this annual yacht event, Indonesia is expected to remain in the route map of international sailors as one of the secure marine tourism destinations. Over the past years, the Sail Indonesia`s participating international yachts start sailing to the Indonesian waters from Darwin, the capital of Australian state of Northern Territory.
Among the participating skippers were from the United States of America, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.
Inspired with the success Indonesia scored by organizing Sail Bunaken 2009 in North Sulawesi and Sail Banda 2010 in Maluku, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono suggested that North Maluku stage another such event, namely Sail Morotai.
President Yudhoyono made the suggestion when speaking at a ceremony in Ternate, North Maluku, marking the relocation of the province`s capital from Ternate to Sofifi on Halmahera island in August 2010.
"We have just organized Sail Banda, and in reality it attracted so many participants from many countries and moved the economy in Maluku. Therefore, I hope we can organize a Sail Morotai in North Maluku," the President said at the time.
The head of state on the occasion also threw his weigh behind the North Maluku provincial administration`s wish to turn Morotai Island into a special economic zone. Therefore, the president asked the relevant parties to draw up a master plan for the development of the island into a new economic center.
As an outlying island serving as a gateway into Indonesia through the Pacific Ocean, being close to East Asia, and situated in a main sea lane to Australia and New Zealand, Morotai could be part of the economic movement in the Asia Pacific region.
"We should think strategically. Let`s do something in North Maluku, Morotai in particular, so it will be part of the economic movement in the Asia Pacific region," said the president.
The President said he had received a master plan from Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad to develop the island into a fishery, tourist, trade and services center. In light of this, President Yudhoyono expressed hope that North Maluku province would successfully host Sail Morotai as part of Sail Indonesia 2012.