Manokwari, W Papua (ANTARA News) - The Cenderawasih Bay National Park authorities have encouraged foreign athletes, officials, and enthusiasts of the 18th Asian Games, which will be hosted by Indonesia from August 18 to September 2, to enjoy the beauty of this marine park`s underwater paradise.

The foreign guests can not only do snorkeling and diving activities during their visit to this Papua Province`s marine national park but can also watch and even swim with whale-sharks, Head of Cenderawasih Bay National Park Ben G Saroy said here on Tuesday.

"Our marine national park has lots of wonderful snorkeling and diving spots, particularly located in the waters of Auri Isles and Wondama Bay. Those wanting to watch and swim with the whale sharks can visit the whale shark center in Kwatisore, Nabire District," he noted.

The wonders of the marine national park`s underwater paradise are not merely caused by the well-preserved coral reefs but also by the wreckage of the World War II aircraft, which have become home of various coral reef fish, he remarked.

Those wishing to visit the national park can do that through Kwatisore Village, Nabire District, Papua Province; Mount Botak of South Manokwari (West Papua Province); and Aisandami Village in Duairi Bay Subdistrict of Wondama Bay District (West Papua), he added.

"We are going to build resorts for visitors at these three gates. At the moment, the number of local travel agents is still limited but the tourists wanting to visit the national park can use the tour operators from outside Papua and West Papua Provinces," he noted.

In helping local people gain benefit from the nature that they have, the national park authorities have been working with the local government and the World Wildlife Fund to develop a people-based tourism industry, he explained.

Indonesia will host the Asian Games for the second time this year, after Jakarta was selected as the venue for the Asian sporting event for the first time in 1962. By virtue of its hosting of the 2018 games, the country aims to secure a place among the top ten largest sporting events.

The games will be attended by 45 countries, and will feature 462 events in 40 sports, of which 32 are Olympic sports and eight are non-Olympic events.

The Olympic sports are Aquatics, Athletics, Fencing, Weightlifting, Basketball, Handball, Badminton, Baseball/Softball, Cycling, Equestrian, Golf, Wrestling, Hockey, Judo, Karate, Canoeing and Kayaking, Sailing, Shooting, Modern Pentathlon, Archery, Sport Climbing, Rowing, Rugby, Gymnastics, Roller Skate, Football, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Boxing, Triathlon, and Volleyball.

The non-Olympic sports are Bowling, Bridge, Cricket, Kabaddi, Martial Arts (including Jujitsu, Kurash, Pencak Silat, Sambo, and Wushu), Mechanical Sports (such as Paragliding and Jetskiing), Squash, and Sepak Takraw.

Reporting by Toyiban
Editing by Rahmad Nasution, Yoseph

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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