"Since SWB was launched by Coordinating Minister of People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, 60 fancy boats each with an average of five passengers, had moored in Wakatobi," Wakatobi Regent Hugua said in Kendari on Monday.
Hugua said some of the fancy boats that had entered Wakatobi left Darwin, Australia, on July 23, 2011, while others left from Canbera, Australia.
"In Wakatobi, the 60 fancy boat passengers enjoyed cultural traditions of the people of Wakatobi," he said.
Hugua added that while SWB in Wakatobi had been officially concluded on Monday (Aug 29), some of the yacht owners were reluctant to leave Wakatobi.
"The fancy boats were supposed to have left Wakatobi for Belitong after calling at several towns in Indonesia like Baubau and Selayar in South Sulawesi," he said.
But since the passengers of the fancy boats were still wishing to enjoy the beauty of the environment under the sea of Wakatobi and the cordiality and friendliness of the Wakatobi people, some of them stayed put.
"They said nowhere else in the world could one find such satisfaction. And a retired American astronaut even wished to stay in Wakatobi much longer," he said.
Hugua said while mooring in Wakatobi, the fancy boat passengers had been touring Wakatobi, and some of them were diving in the Hoga Island waters, enjoying the beauty of environment under the sea, the coral reefs and various marine biota in the island.
"The government and people of Wakatobi regency had been holding various cultural attractions for a week like Kabuenga, Posepa and dances. The cultural attractions and performances had really been enjoyed by the fancy boat passengers," he said.
A special attraction he said was the undersea mass wedding ceremony in Sombu coastal village, Wangi-wangi sub-district joined by 34 newly wed couples.
"The event went down in Museum of Indonesian Records (MURI) as the biggest wedding ceremony in the world. The second biggest involved only eleven couples," he said.