"Indonesia has marine tourism sites with great potentials, especially those in archipelagic areas, but they have not been managed optimally," the vice president said in his remarks closing the 2011 Sail Wakatobi Belitong event here Thursday.
He hoped Sail Wakatobi Belitong could serve as a catalyst in the joint efforts to accelerate development in archipelagic areas.
The joint effort was marked by the signing of cooperation among the governors of Bangka Belitung, Jambi, Riau Islands and West Kalimantan. They signed an agreement on cooperation in management of marine and fishery resources in the Karimata strait on Thursday (Oct. 13).
"Development in archipelagic areas needs to be accelerated to improve the local people`s welfare, exploit the marine potentials and to maintain the life of people on remote islands as well as in border areas which serve as the country`s peripheral fortifications," he said.
He also asked governors, district chiefs and mayors to take measures to ensure the success of the Indonesia Clean and Shining movement, an activity highlighting the 2011 Sail Wakatobi Belitong.
"Let us make clean living a habit by loving cleanliness and ensuring the success of the campaigns to clean the environment on beaches, at sea and in ports," he said.
He said Sail Wakatobi Belitong was the biggest international marine event this year.
The event was held in two places, namely in Wakatobi district, Kendari City, Southeast Sulawesi province, and Belitung district, Bangka Belitung province.
"Wakatobi and Belitong were chosen as the centers of the event as the districts have a diversity of cultures, beautiful natural panoramas and marine resources with high value," he said.
Wakatobi district has underwater panoramas with beautiful coral reefs and more than 700 species of sea biota which are the most unique in the world.
Meanwhile, Belitong has unique and exotic natural beauty, white beaches and artistic granite stones on hundreds of islets.