"Wakatobi has been established as one of the ten major tourist destinations in Indonesia, and therefore, the government is expected to open regular scheduled flight services connecting Jakarta to Wakatobi and Jakarta-Denpasar-Wakatobi," the minister remarked here on Sunday.
Further, he affirmed that the central and local governments as well as the local community should support the establishment of Wakatobi as one of the ten major tourist destinations in the country.
Yahya emphasized that the establishment of a network of inter-regional flights was necessary to support tourist visits to Wakatobi and other destinations in Indonesia.
"Scheduled flight services on the Jakarta-Wakatobi and Jakarta-Denpasar-Wakatobi routes are important to ensure the mobilization of travelers from one area to another," he noted.
In the meantime, Wakatobi District Head Hugua stated that the facilities at Matahora airport in Wakatobi met the required standards to serve regular flights.
Tourism Minister Yahya and Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan were in Wakatobi on Sunday to inaugurate the passenger terminal of Matahora airport on Wangi-Wangi Island in Wakatobi District.
Matahora airport has a two thousand-meter-long runway and is expected to boost the nations tourism industry, especially in Wakatobi District.
Plans are also afoot to extend the runway of Matahora airport to 2.5 thousand meters and to expand the apron area to facilitate the parking of aircraft.
The Indonesian government has identified Wakatobi as a highly potential tourism destination in the country, and the district is eligible for both promotional and development support funding.
In recent years, Wakatobis popularity, as a world-class dive destination, has increased, resulting in stronger demand for a direct air link from Jakarta and Bali.