"Sail Nias has become a momentum for revitalization or revival of tourism in Nias," Rizki Handayani, deputy in charge of marketing development of the Tourism Ministry, stated here on Thursday.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Nias had gained traction as a haven for surfers and viewed as one of the world's premier surfing locations after Hawaii.
The peak event of Sail Nias on September 14, 2019, is expected to help restore Nias' popularity as an international marine tourist resort.
Several foreign cruises and yachts are projected to visit Nias during the event.
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A yacht rally organized in May this year as part of the Sail Nias activities received positive responses from foreign yachters in spite of a short notice sent to them.
To be organized in Teluk Dalam, South Nias, on Sept 14, this year, the peak event is expected to attract numerous domestic and foreign tourists.
"We hope Mr. President will be present as his presence will demonstrate that Nias is safe and ready. The president will also be a tourism endorser," the deputy minister stated.
Sail Nias, the 11th series of Sail Indonesia, is part of the plans to expedite the development of underdeveloped regions in Indonesia.
Various activities will be organized during the event, including Wonderful Nias Expo 2019, international surfing contest, battleship parade, Nias Marathon, culinary bazaar, and traditional art and cultural performances.
Other activities will encompass Wind Surfing and Sailing Contests, Free Diving Competition, Stone Jump Festival, Traditional Fishing Boat Parade, Coffee Festival, Fishing Tournament, Wonderful Tourism Photo Expo, One Thousand Tents Festival, and the Mt Sitori cultural seminar.
Furthermore, the international maritime event is expected to help drive infrastructure development on Nias Island, which lies some 125 km off the western coast of Sumatra Island on the Indian Ocean.
The island has scenic beaches, suitable for water sport activities, such as surfing and scuba diving.
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