East Nusa Tenggara governor places annual cap of 50,000 on Komodo Island visitors

Komodo airport development was part of its effort to support Labuan Bajo as one of Indonesia's priority tourism development to make 10 'New Balis'. Photo: mohinikomodo.com. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUPANG, Aug 6, 2020, ANTARA. To preserve Komodo Island as a conservation area, the number of tourists visiting the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) habitat will be limited to 50 thousand annually, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat stated, ANTARA reported.

“Komodo Island is prepared specifically as a conservation island, and we limit the entry of no more than 50 thousand visitors a year,” he remarked here on Wednesday.

The NTT government has decided on the policy after the central government’s agreement to grant the province a status for co-management of the Komodo National Park in West Manggarai District along with the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry.

Governor Laiskodat remarked that in future, a cap will be placed on the number of tourists visiting Komodo Island, and tourists entering the island should also be registered as members.

Komodo Island is a premium tourist destination as visitors throng the place to enjoy the rare sightings of Komodo dragons in the wild, the governor stated.

“This is certainly quite interesting and has high selling points,” he noted.

Laiskodat further remarked that the island of Komodo was different from other islands in the Komodo National Park area, so the natural settings should be preserved, with no presence of buildings there.

“I urge that no hotels, resorts, or other buildings be built within the Komodo National Park. All hotel development will be in Tanamori,” he remarked.

Only floating hotels, with 80-100 rooms, are allowed to operate around the park, he revealed.

A limit will also be placed on the number of boats entering tourism spots to avoid their crowding at each location. Tourists planning to visit Labuan Bajo and the Komodo National Park in the new normal period can register online through a certified local travel agent.

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