With hundreds of cyclists arrived at Maumere airport in East Nusa Tenggara Province (Indonesia) last Monday, Flores gets the right opportunity to be turned into a full-fledged tourist destination, reported Indonesian local daily newspaper “The Jakarta Post”.
The Tour de Flores will run along 743 km of mostly amazing landscapes and is starting from today, May 18, until May 23. It will go from Larantuka to Labuan Bajo.
According to data obtained by thejakartapost.com, East Nusa Tenggara administration allocated IDR3 billion (US$225,000 ) to the Tour de Flores 2016. Nine regencies in Flores will further contribute IDR750 million each (approximately US$55,000), totaling IDR6.54 billion. It is predicted that overall the Tour de Flores will cost more than IDR8 billion, the equivalent of US$615,000.
However it is worth the investment. The competition attracts some 160 cyclists from 16 countries, and it is the first-ever international cycling race event to be held on the island. From Larantuka to Labuan Bajo, participants and accompanying people will pass along well-known natural sightseeing such as Komodo Island, Kelimutu Lake or the underwater gardens of Maumere Bay.
“For tourism development purposes, we wanted to establish one event that connected the various regions across Flores, from the east side to Labuan Bajo. This way, when we promote this to the world, our promotion will be about Flores as a whole,” declared to the Jakarta Post Sikka regent Yoseph Ansar Rera during a welcoming ceremony at his residence on Monday. The money collected from the race could also be used to improve infrastructure to further develop tourism.
Flores is home to gorgeous beaches, ikat woven fabrics and colourful traditional dances such as the Pakpak Dance, a traditionally performed show to welcome originally the winners from a war after being back home from a war.
The Tour de Flores is also a truly exciting sport event with the race passing through no more than 16 mountain climbing over the five days. The event is coordinated and supported jointly by the Tourism Ministry and the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry, with support from several other ministries, including the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry and the Youth and Sports Ministry.
(Source: Jakarta Post)