Ternate, North Maluku (ANTARA) - Morotai Festival will be organized in Daruba, the capital of Morotai Island District in North Maluku Province, from August 2 to 8, 2019.

The plan to organize the festival was officially launched by North Maluku Governor Abdul Ghani Kasuba here on Saturday evening.

The Tourism Ministry has included Morotai Festival in the 100 Calendar of Wonderful Indonesia Events 2019, together with Jailolo Festival, which was held in North Halmahera, North Maluku, on March 3-5 this year.

Morotai Island is the province's major tourist destination that has been designated by the central government as one of the top 10 priority tourist destinations considered as "new Bali".

The nine other destinations are Borobudur in Central Java; Mandalika on Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara; Bromo-Tengger-Semeru in East Java; Seribu Island in North Jakarta; Lake Toba in North Sumatra; Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi; Tanjung Lesung in Banten; Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara, and Tanjung Kelayang in Belitung, Bangka Belitung.

Hari Suhendro, expert staff of the Tourism Minister, said Morotai is expected to attract at least 500 thousand foreign tourists a year.

He hoped that the ongoing development of a special economic zone for fishery in Morotai Island would help improve infrastructure in the region and attract more domestic as well as foreign tourists.

Flight to Morotai should also be increased from one daily into at least twice daily, he added.

Morotai Island District Head Beny Laos said the logo of Morotai Festival this year is Gorango Morotai whale, as the island is famous for its whale and shark diving tourism.

Activities organized during the festival will include fun dive, fishing competition, swimming race, a local culinary bazaar, local traditional sing and dance performances, and a decorated boat parade,.

Morotai Island is one the outermost place in Indonesia as it is located in the northernmost tip of North Maluku Province. The rugged and forested tropical island shares maritime borders with the Philippines in the north and the Pacific Ocean in the east.

During World War II, Morotai was the one of the biggest battlefields in the Pacific when General Douglas McArthur fought the Japanese Force.

The tropical heaven has beautiful white sandy beaches, secluded smaller islands, and wonderful diving spots where divers often encounter with sharks and whales.

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Translator: Abdul Fatah, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019