Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The highly anticipated cultural event of Biak Munara Wampasi (BMW) Festival in Biak Numfor District, Papua Province, from July 1 to 4, 2017, will be preceded by a diving exhibition involving some 50 divers from different countries.

On June 30, the divers will show their ability in the area of Biak Mina Jaya pier to start the BMW festival, before following the international underwater photo contest.

BMW festival organizing committee has prepared dive tubes, but the number is limited. Hence, participants of the diving exhibition are limited to 50 people, according to Biak Numfor Tourism Office Chief Turbey Ony Dangeubun.

He noted that the participants of the international underwater photo contest are expected to arrive earlier before the diving exhibition to get to know the marine nature of Biak.

Dangeubun admitted that the people of Biak are very enthusiastic to welcome the BMW festival, and a festival atmosphere has already been felt in the village of Karnindi where the cultural event will take place.

In fact, the local Tourism Office has installed various attributes, billboards, and banners on various streets in the city of Biak to invite people to the annual cultural event.

The Biak Numfor district government has urged the indigenous people, state civil apparatus, police and TNI security personnel, business actors, state/regional enterprises, and religious leaders to make the festival a success.

Dangeubun remarked in the district town of Biak that Tourism Minister Arief Yahya was scheduled to open the cultural festival.

The Biak Numfor district government and the Ministry of Tourism hold the BMW cultural festival every year, as it has become part of the national tourism calendar to attract local and foreign tourists visiting the islands of Biak.

The BMW festival offers a platform to promote regional tourism and introduce diverse cultures and traditional art in Biak to the international community.

The cultural festival is expected to attract tourists to visit Biak, which is well-known for its rich diversity of natural resources, fisheries, tourism, and the culture of indigenous people.

"Accordingly, I call on all public elements to be involved and provide support for the success of the BMW cultural festival this year," Dangeubun remarked.

As part of its support to the BMW Festival, Biaks Frans Kaisiepo Airport management company PT Angkasa Pura-I is cooperating with the local Tourism Office to promote the event.

Angkasa Pura-I General Manager Minggus E.T. Gandeguai remarked in Biak that the company is obligated to make the BMW festival a success, as the event is part of a national tourism agenda to increase tourist visits to Biak Numfor District.

Gandeguai noted that the management of Angkasa Pura-I has prepared a special promotional area at the Frans Kaisiepo Airport to disseminate information regarding the BMW festival to domestic and foreign tourists.

In addition, the Biak Numfor Tourism Office will provide the Purabesi cruise ship to enliven the festival to develop the district into a leading international tourist destination, according to Dangeubun.

The presence of the cruise ship during the BMW cultural festival is part of the support offered by the travel business actors in the province of Papua.

Dangeubun remarked that the cultural festival is being designed in a way to make the event more interesting and lively.

According to him, the Biak Numfor Tourism Office is responsible for the festival, but the implementation of every cultural activity to enliven the event will be handled by some event organizers.

Various cultural activities being handled by the event organizers to enliven the BMW festival are "snap mor" or fish-catching competitions in the waters during low tide, "apen byaren" or walking on hot rocks, 10-kilometer race, cultural art entertainment, cultural and orchid exhibitions, tourist attraction photo contest, and international underwater photo contest.

The BMW Festival is an annual event to expand the tourism potential and introduce the visitors to delightful natural and cultural features of the scenic islands in the district of Biak Numfor.

The cultural festival is expected to increase foreign tourist arrivals and will offer them an opportunity to recognize the potential of the districts natural and cultural beauty.

With the implementation of the annual BMW Festival, the Biak Numfor District can be transformed into a leading international tourist destination in the province of Papua.

"The international marathon event that will be part of the BMW Festival 2017 is expected to attract as many foreign tourists as possible," Biak Numfor District Head Thomas Ondy stated in Biak recently.

Ondy made the statement in connection with the efforts to make Biak a superior service city of regional tourism and the venue of Papua and West Papua regional sporting event.

Hence, he reiterated that all elements of society in Biak Numfor should work together with the district government to make the cultural tourism event a grand success.

The festival is expected to help boost Padaido Islands tourism and the local economy and will especially benefit traders and small and micro businesses.

The local authorities continue to develop marine tourism in Padaido and Aimando islands by improving various supporting facilities and infrastructure such as homestays, roads, seaport, and streetlights.

The local government has made Padaido and Aimando Marine Park the center of marine tourism, with activities featuring underwater diving around the islands.

The cluster of Saerrei Bay in Padaido Island is home to various forms of underwater natural beauty, CEO of WWF Indonesia Benja Mambai admitted separately.

Due to its underwater beauty, Padaido Island is eligible to be developed into a tourist attraction in the district of Biak Numfor.

Apart from its tourism potential, the Padaido Island region has become a center of research and surveys, nature conservation education, and cultural development of Biak Numfor.(*)

Reporter: Otniel Tamindael
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2017