"Tourists are very interested in diving in the Gulf of Jailolo."
Ternate (ANTARA News) - Marine tourism in West Halmahera (Halbar) district, North Maluku, is increasingly attractive to both domestic and foreign tourists, according to local government official Syarif Ali.

Speaking to the media here on Saturday, Syarif said domestic and foreign tourists are increasingly attracted to the underseas panoramic views at the Gulf of Jailolo.

"Tourists are very interested in diving in the Gulf of Jailolo, which offers a variety of spectacular coral reefs and marine flora and fauna species found no where else in the world," Syarif noted.

He did not mention the number of tourists visiting Halbar per month, but said some were coming from Hong Kong, Australia, and the United States.

According to Syarif, tourists spent more than two days in Halbar because, besides enjoying diving at Jailolo Bay, they also visited various tourism attractions such as historical sites and forest to view birds.

Syarif noted that the local government continues to promote Jailolo, a small island in North Maluku, as a primary tourism attraction on the international stage.

"The government continues to improve infrastructures at the tourism attractions to make them even more inviting," he noted.

In its effort to preserve marine tourism in Halbar, the local government has tried to rehabilitate the damaged coral reef area and have banned the use of coral rocks for building materials.

"Also, the Halbar government stages the annual Jailolo Bay Festival every month in May to promote marine tourism," Syarif said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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