Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, accompanied by East Nusa Tenggara Governor Viktor Laiskodat, inaugurated glass-bottom boats in Labuan Bajo on Friday.
The minister expressed the hope that the glass-bottom boats will boost tourism activities in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, which has been designated as a super-priority tourism destination by the central government.
“President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) has also instructed Labuan Bajo to be developed as an international-level tourism destination,” Sumadi said on Friday.
He informed that the glass-bottom boats span 23.1 meters in length and can accommodate up to 44 persons, based on the Indonesian Classification Bureau (BKI) Volume VII on rules for small vessels of up to 24 meters.
The boats will be granted by the central government to East Nusa Tenggara and North Sulawesi provincial authorities, he said.
The minister also expressed the hope that the boats would bolster marine tourism connectivity and attract more tourists who can enjoy undersea beauty without leaving their boat.
“I have also been informed that those glass-bottom boats are the first of their kind to be developed by our engineers, and domestic sources have been used as the boat material. This demonstrates that our country is great and advanced,” Sumadi remarked.
The boats are state-owned assets, so relevant regulations must be observed in the process of their handing over to the regional authority, he said.
Meanwhile, the ministry’s acting director general of marine transportation, Captain Mugen Sartoto, said that the glass-bottom boats were constructed at two shipyards in Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java.
KM Baswara Bahari 1 and KM Baswara Bahari 2 were developed by PT Bayubahari Santosa Jakarta and PT Proskuneo Kadarusman Jakarta, respectively, he said.
Meanwhile, KM Nirmala Bahari 1 and KM Nirmala Bahari 2 were built by PT Dumas Tanjung Shipyards Surabaya and PT Ben Santosa Madura, respectively, the director general added.
“Of the four bottom-glass boat units, KM Baswara Bahari 1 and KM Baswara Bahari 2 will be granted to the East Nusa Tenggara authority, while KM Nirmala Bahari 1 and KM Nirmala Bahari 2 will be granted to the North Sulawesi authority,” Sartoto said.
Source: Antara News