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Indonesia to develop Natuna Islands into tourism destination

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian government plans to develop the Natuna Islands district in the Riau Islands province and its surrounding areas into a new tourism destination.

“In line with the directives of the President, Natuna will be transformed into a new tourism destination,” Indonesian tourism minister Arief Yahya said here on Thursday.

He stated that following President Joko Widodos visit to the region on Thursday, he would immediately follow up on the plan.

He promised that he would ensure that his officials immediately close ranks and work together to develop the countrys outermost region.

“I have asked the head of tourism service of the Riau Islands province, Guntur Sakti, to report the results of the Presidents visit to the deputy for development of tourism destinations to achieve synergy,” he said.

Arief noted that Natuna Islands and their surrounding areas have the potential for tourism development, as these have maritime possibilities.

Therefore, he revealed that he planned to develop Natuna as a maritime tourism destination.

President Joko Widodo, during his visit to the region on Thursday, had ordered acceleration of development in Natuna as one of the frontline islands.

To achieve that, infrastructure development is needed. Better connectivity and economic development of sectors such as fishery industry, gas industry and tourism will help the area, he said.

President Joko Widodo has also called for increased patrolling to safeguard the region in the South China Sea.

The region has been in the spotlight following the seizure of a Chinese fishing boat that was found illegally fishing in the countrys exclusive economic zone recently. China has claimed that the boat was fishing in the Chinese traditional fishing grounds.

Source: www.antaranews.com, 23 June 2016