According to the head of the provincial tourism and creative economy agency, Marius Ardu Jelamu, the development of whales attraction will be focused in three areas such as Solor-Lewotobi in East Flores regency, Ile Ape-Lamalera in Lembata regency, and Paket Alor-Pantar in Alor regency.
In addition to offering the direct whales observation, the new kind of tourism will be combined with culture, marine, religion, as well as nature tourism.
"The provincial government of East Nusa Tenggara welcomes this initiative of tourism development that is expected to boost the local income," Jelamu stated here on Monday.
Sawu Sea, a migration corridor for whales and dolphins, is a promising spot to be developed into marine tourists attraction.
The survey of Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) conducted by TNC in the last few years, identifies that at least 10 sea mammals, including 14 species of whales, 7 species of dolphins, and a species of sea cow are present in the Sawu Sea.
Whales and dolphins attraction is a rapidly growing maritime tourism that has been developed in 90 countries around the world. Globally, this kind of tourism can generate national income of Rp1.4 trillion.
Being categorized as a new tourism, whales and dolphins natural attraction can also be developed in the seas of Sunda Kecil, Banda, and Raja Ampat.
The Waters National Park of the Sawu Sea, the breeding spot for the whales, is referred as a "cafe" for the blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), where the tourists can directly observe their natural habitat and attractions.
(Reported by Hironimus Bifel/Uu.Y013/INE/KR-BSR/F001)