Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - A Wakatobi community leader has expressed strong hope that President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) would reschedule his plan to visit Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi after cancellation of earlier plan to visit to that area to launch the national development program for the countrys 10 main tourist destinations.

"We together with the regional administration have twice prepared a welcoming ceremony for President Jokowis visit in Wakatobi, but the planned visits were cancelled," Andi Hasan, a Wakatobi community leader, said here on Wednesday.

Andi said Jokowis visit would have put Wakatobi in the limelight showing to the world the natural riches of Wakatobi especially its undersea beauty that would attract more tourists to that location.

Apart from the natural beauty under the sea with 750 types of ridge of rock, 942 fish species and other marine fauna and flora, Wakatobi boasts of its varied cultures , he said.

The people of Wakatobi are especially protective of the environment, he said.

"We people of Wakatobi would not seek to exploit the natural wealth before we do something to ensure the sustainability of exploitation," Andi, who was former speaker of the Wakatobi district legislative assembly, said.

The public wisdom of preserving the environment has kept the Wakatobi natural wealth from damage , he said, adding, the Wakatobi sea remains a potential fishing ground providing the main livelihood for the local people.

"Therefore, we very much hope that the president would reschedule his visit to Wakatobi. The visit by the president to Wakatobi would give new spirit to the people to continue to preserve its natural wealth," he said.

President Jokowi was to visit Wakatobi on May 1 , 2016 to commission the new terminal of the Matahora airport, but on the same day the president had to attend to a more important state duty.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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