MINISTER of Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan ensured Komodo Island in NTT would not be closed but would be arranged with restrictions on the number of tourists.

“So this Komodo Island is not closed, we are doing a joint arrangement of the central government and local governments and related parties, made the rules for limiting the number of tourists to the island of Komodo by holding a visit/tourist capacity ticket,” Luhut said in a press release.

It was said, the decision was the result of a coordination meeting on the Management of the Komodo National Park together with Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya, Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya and NTT Governor Viktor Laiskodat at the Office of the Maritime Coordinating Office, Jakarta, Monday (30/9).

“Ticket management will be made using a premium annual membership card system. Premium membership cards will be directed to Komodo Island directly where large komodo dragons are there. While those who do not have a premium card will be directed to other locations with Komodo dragons as well. Later they (non-premium) will be directed to small dragons such as on Rinca Island. So they can only be there, nowhere else,” he said.

While regarding the management of Komodo Island, Deputy for Infrastructure of the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs Ridwan Djamaluddin who also participated in the meeting added that a Komodo Research Center on Komodo Island will also be built. In addition, the government will also arrange a cruise ship to Komodo Island and Labuan Bajo. Structuring includes routes, logistics to handling waste.

“We also have to build international standard tourism facilities and infrastructure and build adequate supporting infrastructure outside this Komodo Island area,” concluded Ridwan. [ photo]