KUPANG, KOMPAS.com – When world leaders converge in Indonesia in 2023, they will be taken to a fishing town called Labuan Bajo at the westernmost tip of the island of Flores, home of the Komodo dragon and other fascinating wildlife.
For the first time, Indonesia will showcase its eastern region, specifically East Nusa Tenggara, when hosting several leading global and regional forums three years from now.
Away from the usual venues for global events in the country’s resort island of Bali and the national capital Jakarta, the G20 leaders' summit and the Asean Summits are scheduled to be held in Labuan Bajo.
President Joko Widodo has ordered his ministers to accelerate the development of the venues. The surrounding tourist sites are also being prepared for the unprecedented international events in the province. One such site is Kelor Island in West Manggarai regency.
Kelor Island may not be new to many foreign travelers as it is located in the north of Labuan Bajo, one of the more popular tourist destinations in Indonesia for those who want to visit Komodo National Park. Travel time to Kelor Island from Labuan Bajo takes about 30 minutes to one hour by boat.
Though it has natural assets such as pristine beaches and diving sites, the island has yet to be developed. There is no accommodation and restaurants that meet the international standards for tourism facilities.
The regency is allocating 800 million rupiahs ($55,000) to build supporting facilities. Head of Public Relations of West Manggarai regency Florianus Riyan Gampar assured that the island is safe for tourists to visit.
“In 2019 a jetty was built on the island,” Riyan told Kompas.com. The jetty is to facilitate the visitor ships and as a means of supporting tourism on Kelor Island.
Riyan said that last year, the government began extending support for the preparation of the G20 Summit and the Asean Summits.