Pulau Bair (Bair island) in Kota Tual (Tual city), which lies in the Moluccas, is a place unfamiliar to most Indonesians. The area, as a matter of fact, has abundant potential in terms of nature and culture.
Kota Tual is a city in the province of the Moluccas that was established in 2007. It has beautiful maritime potential. Currently, the local government of Kota Tual has started to build the tourism sector. One of the tourism areas is the north part of the city, which is Pulau Bair.
A group of UGM students were inspired to do research into the potential of Pulau Bair and Kota Tual. Led by Ansye Nanholy, alumnus of Civil Engineering UGM, and members Sultan Kurnia AB and Muslim Dima Khoiru Dhony (both from Archaeology Department UGM), and Dani Ninilouw from Universitas Pattimura, all carried out the research for five months long from August - December 2016.
They found out that Kota Tual has big tourism potential, such as the clean white coastlines and small islets with unique characteristics.
“The tradition and culture of the local people are still well preserved,” said Sultan on Thursday (12/1) at UGM.
Unfortunately, the underwater abundance, especially coral reefs, is in the risk of heavy damage. Many fishermen still detonate bombs to catch fish.
“There is the threat of damage to the coral reefs due to the bomb used by fishermen to get the fish,” he said.
Sultan added that Kota Tual has been selected as one of toll hubs of southeast Indonesia, which could increase tourism visits there. Sultan explained the maritime tourism development in Kota Tual would be done in stages by the local government. These are drafting of building and environment of tourism areas, implementation of the drafting in the form of zonation, bridge construction in the middleof Pulau Bair, construction of tourism facilities on the coastlines, revitalisation of local art and culture, and community empowerment.
On community empowerment, Sultan said the local government of Kota Tual was interested to collaborate with UGM. They expect this to be able to boost their self-reliance and sustainable development.