Preparations started for sail Wakatobi-Belitung 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Wakatobi district government and local people have started various preparations for the region to host Sail Wakatobi-Belitung as part of Sail Indonesia 2011.

For the success of the international marine event, the 50-kilometer Wangi-wangi ring road in Wakatobi, Southeast Sulawesi, will soon be asphalted before President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono`s visit to the district to open the event in August this year.

In addition, three docks, namely Wangi-wangi, Kaledupa, and Pulau Tomia in the district, have been fixed for Sail Indonesia 2011 in August this year.

Wakatobi Transportation Department head Syarifuddin said in the Southeast Sulawesi provincial city of Kendari on Wednesday that the

repair of the three piers would cost around Rp70 billion from the state budget through the Transportation Ministry.

"The funds have been disbursed and the work to fix the three quays is expected to be completed by the end of July this year," Syarifuddin said.

According to him, the quays would be used by the participants of event and the divers from around the world.

Besides, they will also be used by naval ships to conduct a so-called Surya Baskara Jaya health operation.

"The ships will conduct free Surya Baskara Jaya health operations for the local people during Sail Indonesia 2011," he said.

Especially for the Wangi-wangi pier, Syarifuddin said it would be used by the sail participating yachts to moor and a command post.

Meanwhile, head of Wakatobi Public Works Agency, Tawakal, said in Kendari that the project of Wangi-wangi ring road was expected to be completed early August before the arrival of President Yudhoyono and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono to open the Sail Wakatobi-Belitung.

He said more than Rp10 billion of the regional budget had been allocated for project, and any shortage would be met by the Public Works Ministry from the state budget.

"We have proposed a budget of more than Rp40 billion to the Public Works Ministry and we hope our proposal will be responded as soon as possible," Tawakal said.

To welcome the Sail Wakatobi-Belitung event in which world-class divers will take part, Tawakal said the Wakatobi district government and the local people have started to prepare cultural attractions of

Kabuenga, Bangka Mbule-mbule, and Karia to entertain the participants of the international marine event.

Besides, the participants of Sail Wakatobi-Belitung 2011 and the divers from around the world are expected to have a great opportunity to go diving in magnificent diving facilities at Wakatobi Marine National Park.

They get a chance to dive in the superb diving sites and the most pristine reefs at Wakatobi Diving Resort, located in a beautiful tropical paradise of Onemobaa.

Therefore the Wakatobi district administration and local corral reef youths have expressed readiness to guide the Sail Wakatobi-Belitung participants when they arrive at the location.

Wakatobi district head Hugua has said at least 1.3 million hectares of Wakatobi are part of Wakatobi National Marine Park with Karang Mari Mabo, Onemobaa, Pulau Hioga, and Pantai Patuno diving sites.

"The Corral Reef Youths whom we have prepared are ready to guide the divers wherever they want to go diving at the center of the world`s corral reefs triangle here," Hugua said.

Divers, tourists, and guests will have an excellent diving holiday and enjoy every moment of it to see the colorful and magnificent underwater life because the area is tremendously rich in marine heritage.

Wakatobi is one of the protected marine national parks in Indonesia.

The sail participants and tourist divers at Wakatobi Diving Resort will also experience a highly enjoyable and memorable moment during the event.

In the Wakatobi Diving Resort there are a lot of beautiful diving sites with incredibly colorful marine diversity which could be reached easily.

Known for its built-in Beach and a house reef just twenty meters from the dive center, Wakatobi attracts many professional divers from around the world who want to go diving there.

The Wakatobi Diving Resort is surrounded by stunning and pristine drop-offs, walls and slopes to ridges, caverns, caves and sea-mounts.

There at Wakatobi, the beauty of the marine life is waiting to be discovered and explored by the Sail Indonesia 2011 participants.

Besides, Wakatobi Diving Resort is also offering premier and luxurious accommodation with modern comforts to tourist divers and guests in Bungalows, Garden Bungalows, Beach Bungalows, and Cliff Villas.

There are still many beautiful diving sites with pristine reefs, stunning colorful corals and tropical marine life that are in remote sites and not accessible from the Wakatobi Diving Resort that are waiting to be explored and discovered.

In order to reach this remote diving spots, Wakatobi Diving Resort owned and managed a yacht world-renowned named Pelagian.

The Pelagian, which is very spacious that can accommodate up to 12 divers, is regarded for many years as one of the premier diving yachts in the region.

Wakatobi Diving Resort offers a very comprehensive diving package holiday for tourists and guests to have an opportunity to explore underwater marine life.

No wonder Sail Wakatobi-Belitung participants will feel at home and enjoy the underwater beauty of Wakatobi.

Wakatobi is the name of an archipelago located in an area of Southeast Sulawesi, and in the biodiversity hotspot known as Wallacea as part of the Kepulauan Wakatobi National Park.

The Wakatobi is also home to Operation Wallacea, a UK based for non-profit conservation group looking at sustainable development of fisheries and coral reef research.

Hugua said Wakatobi people have also prepared various art performances and dances to greet the Sail Indonesia participants in the district.

According to him, the arrival of Sail Indonesia 2011 participants in Wakatobi will be marked with big parties to make their visit pleasant. (*)