Jakarta (ANTARA) - Executive Director of the Maritime Research Centre for Humanity and maritime expert Abdul Halim opined that collaboration and synergy with locals must be prioritised in the regional maritime tourism sector development promoted by the government.

"Collaboration among regional government-owned enterprises, local authority, and residents could be pursued to enhance investment in minor islands, as I observed a surging trend in maritime tourism development in regions," Halim told ANTARA in Jakarta on Saturday.

The maritime expert cautioned against dependence on external, especially foreign investments in marine tourism development in remote areas that potentially impact the local way of living and drive away residents from their homes.

"External investments could be pursued, but regional government-owned enterprises, local authority, and residents must remain within their control. A business scheme that I can suggest is a tourism cooperatives model wherein locals manage the cooperatives under the regional authority and regional enterprises' supervision," Halim remarked.

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Collaboration among local sectors must be first pursued for local maritime tourism development before inviting external parties to invest in their region, he remarked while promoting cooperation among regions with similar missions under a transparent and beneficial scheme.

"By promoting collaboration among locals, we are confident of no one being left behind nor dominating or excluding others in maritime tourism development," the expert stated.

Earlier, the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries Affairs' West Sumatra Research Institute for Coastal Resources and Vulnerability head, Nia Naelul Hasanah Ridwan, stated that marine tourism held vast potential for the national tourism sector, especially for coastal areas in minor islands, with their preserved marine ecosystem.

The institute head also encouraged marine tourism development by preserving vulnerable marine ecosystems to promote blue economy for regions and tourists.

Moreover, Minister of Marine and Fisheries Affairs Sakti Wahyu Trenggono also voiced his optimism for Indonesia's marine tourism development and pushed regions to develop marine tourism in their respective regions.
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Translator: M Razi Rahman, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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