"An international maritime event such as this is a historical landmark in the revival of our country. It shows the world that we have not only abundant natural resources but also a booming marine tourism industry," President Yudhoyono said at the inauguration of the peak event for Sail Komodo 2013 here on Saturday.
Accompanied by his wife First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono, Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Syarif C Sutarjo, and East Nusa Tenggara Governor Frans Lebu Raya, the head of state pushed a button, marking the inauguration of the event that has brought together some 106 yachts from 26 countries.
Sail Komodo 2013 is themed "Golden Bridge Toward East Nusa Tenggara," where the latter is being showcased as a world tourism destination in Indonesia.
"I hope that in the near future the area around Komodo Island will become a world-class tourism destination," the president remarked, as he invited the foreign participants in the Sail Komodo event to visit Komodo Island.
Other ranking officials attending the opening included State Reforms Minister Azwar Abubakar, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, Social Service Minister Salim Segaf Al Jufri, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Marie Elka Pangestu, National Defense Forces (TNI) chief General Moeldoko, National Police chief General Timur Pradopo, Attorney General Basrie Arief, and several lawmakers and ambassadors.
Sail Komodo is the fifth sailing event to be held in Indonesia after the Sail Bunaken event held in North Sulawesi Province in 2009, Sail Banda in Maluku Province in 2010, Sail Wakatobi and Bitong in Southeast Sulawesi Province in 2011, and Sail Morotai in North Maluku Province in 2012.
EDITED BY INE