Labuan Bajo, Flores Today- The East Nusa Tenggara administration is lobbying the central government to promote Labuan Bajo Harbor in West Manggarai regency for cruise ship stops.
The area has welcomed cruise ships from Bali and international harbors but the governor, Frans Lebu Raya, wants more and longer visits to the province, not only to the famous Komodo Island.
Frans said on Wednesday that Labuan Bajo was known the world over on account of the nearby Komodo Island, where people can see komodo dragons. But he argued there was more to see around Labuan Bajo.
Cruise ships can dock for seven days in Labuan Bajo, from where tourists can visit Alor regency, known for its surfing and diving sites, Sumba with its Pasola Festival, or horse race festival, Ende with Kelimutu Lake, Lembata with its tradition of whale hunting, and other smaller islands, each with their own charms. Other places promoted by the governor are Sikka, Nagekeo, East Manggarai, Manggarai and Larantuka.
“Locals would get a lot of benefits, for example, the cruise ships would buy rice, vegetables, meat and other needs,” Lebu said.
To improve tourism in the province, Frans said East Nusa Tenggara needed to expand Komodo Airport.
He said Labuan Bajo was a central site managed by the Flores Tourism Agency and hoped Labuan Bajo could share its good fortune with other regencies.