Ambon Bay Festival To Attract More Tourists

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JAKARTA, July 12 (Antara) - If tourists want to enjoy a day at the seaside with a holiday atmosphere, spending a day at one of the white sandy beaches along Ambon Bay should be at the top of their list of things to do in the Maluku provincial city of Ambon.

With numerous beaches to choose from, Ambon Bay has plenty to keep the visitors occupied, whether they are visiting alone, with their family, or on a day out with friends.

Whether at the beach, or on top of Karangpanjang Hill, visitors can enjoy the fragrance of flowers, the gentle breeze, the chirping of the birds, and the grandeur of Ambon Bay separating the peninsulas of Leihitu and Leitimur.

Ambon is magnificent, particularly at night, with the lights twinkling on the hills around the city and along the shoreline of the Ambon Bay.

Hence, the Maluku provincial government aims to make the most of the annual event of Ambon Bay Festival, from Aug 18 to 20, 2018, to draw as many domestic and foreign tourists as possible to the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon.

The increase in tourist visits to the Ambon Bay Festival is expected to have a double impact on the welfare of the local communities.

In order to explore most of Ambon Bay to attract more tourists to Maluku Province, the Maluku Provincial Government will hold the annual Ambon Bay Festival.

The Ambon Bay Festival 2018, which is organized by the Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, will enhance the beauty of the Gulf of Ambon. It will be packed with various events that are closely related to the life of Moluccan people who are dependent on the sea.

Various competitions, such as fishing competitions, rowing boat competitions with male and female participants, ethnic carnival, decorative boat parade, Hawaiian Band Competition, and Arumbae Manggurebe, will be held to enliven the Ambon Bay Festival.

The Arumbae Manggurebe competition, known as a speedboat race contest, holds historical value as it was used by fighters to expel the invaders from the land of Maluku.

Head of Tourism and Creative Economy of Maluku, Habiba Saimima, said that every event at the tourism destination was intended to increase tourist visits.

Hence, the Ambon Bay Festival this time is not only to attract domestic and foreign tourists but also to support the target of the tourist visits in 2018.

Tourism and Creative Economy Office of Maluku is targeting as many as 25 thousand foreign tourists and 150 thousand domestic tourists to visit this area in 2018.

A number of events are ready to be held to attract tourists. Therefore, it is expected that the target of tourist arrivals in 2018 will be realized and will contribute to other fields, Saimima remarked.

The committee also decided on including a number of other attractions, such as the places for selfies, as one of the efforts to attract tourists to visit the Maluku province, especially the city of Ambon.

Therefore, the budget will be allocated to five villages according to the sub-district in Ambon city to make the places for selfies as a new tourist attraction, with the winner being announced on Aug 20, 2018.

If managed properly, numerous tourist destinations in Ambon will attract tourists and certainly provide a positive impact for the surrounding community to develop various productive businesses.

Ambon is now safe, and locals are friendly. Hence, tourists from all over the world can enjoy the beauty of this tropical paradise and its rich cultural heritage.

All public elements in the city have been urged to maintain and preserve the environment that is stable and secure, so that development can occur as planned and expected.

Under the coordination of military and police forces, all public elements in the province and the city would be able to create an environment that is peaceful, secure, and stable.

Locals have become divided along religious lines because of the sectarian conflict that raged in Maluku province from early 1999 to 2002.

During that time, between five thousand and eight thousand people were killed and 500 thousand others were displaced from their homes.

Houses of worship were specifically targeted, and more than 100 mosques and churches were either destroyed or damaged.

During the first 15 months of the conflict, fights between the two groups, largely cyclical reprisals, resulted in a more or less equal number of fatalities on each side.

The apparent spark that led to the outbreak of conflict was an argument in Ambon city between a Christian public transport driver and at least one Muslim passenger.

The argument led to a brawl and several days of mob violence, which spread quickly to other islands, thus starting the cyclical pattern.

However, the people of different groups and faiths have now become closer despite their differences and diversity.

The differences and diversity are something beautiful and can help strengthen brotherhood in the frame of the ancestral culture of Pela-Gandong for the betterment of Maluku.

Pela is based on friendship between two villages, and Gandong indicates brotherhood between two or more villages based on genealogical links.

Thus, Pela-Gandong is based on traditional belief of the Maluku people, which underlines that all men are related to each other, and therefore, they should always live in peace.

According to Pela-Gandong, if a group of people is building a house of worship, people belonging to another group must help and support the construction.

Therefore, the world should know that the cultural value of Pela-Gandong is very much alive in Maluku and has become stronger since the end of the communal conflict many years ago.