North Sulawesi’s Talaud Islands district, which borders with the Philippines, has prepared Sara Island to become the region’s main tourist attraction.
The small-uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean, with its white sandy beaches and clean water, is now ready to welcome foreign tourists in its new cottages.
“To keep it really exotic, we want to Sara Island to remain uninhabited. It’s a different atmosphere when there are no residents,” Talaud Islands district head Sri Wahyuni Manalip said on Thursday (15/06).
“Talaud was named one of the cross-border tourism destinations by the Tourism Ministry. Therefore, we will improve it. We will also prepare a calendar of cultural events,” Wahyuni said.
The ministry’s deputy for tourism development, Esthy Reko Astuty, said the district’s infrastructure still needs to be better.
“Improvements are crucial to make Talaud more attractive. Tourists who come here should be able to enjoy their stay,” Esthy said.
There are many interesting sights in Talaud — beaches, waterfalls and caves — including Eastern Coast Beach, Lobbo Beach, Weta cave, Ampadoap waterfall and Bannada village with cultural remains of the Talaud Kingdom.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said cross-border tourism activities in Talaud will greatly improve the livelihood of its residents.
“Cross-border tourism has a large potential. People should benefit more [from it],” he said, adding that tourism is seen by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as one of the main ways of improving the economy of Indonesia’s border regions.