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New paradise-island destination emerges in Indonesia

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Kei Islands: “We are lobbying the airlines to connect us to Bali”
A group of 112 islands in South-east Maluku made a debut at the Bali and Beyond Travel Fair 2015 last week following a number of infrastructural and facility developments in the last five years.
“Kei Islands are a hidden gem; very few people know where we are and what we have to offer,” said Andreas Rentanubun, regency head of South-east Maluku. “We have many dive spots, and five of them are WWF-certified. Visitors can walk or cycle along our 2km Ngur Tavur beach at low tide.”
Andreas added that seasonally, visitors would also be able to meet pelicans migrating from Australia and leatherback turtles swimming in the seas. Other activities include cave trekking and learning about the history and culture of the locals, who originated from Bali. The islands also cultivate pearls.
They have an airport currently capable of accommodating ATR aircraft. Garuda Indonesia, Wings Air and Trigana offer 90-minute daily flights between Maluku province capital Ambon and South-east Maluku’s capital Langgur.
“We are planning to expand the runway to accommodate [Boeing 737 aircraft] next year and we are lobbying the airlines to connect Bali and Langgur,” Rentanubun revealed.
Alexander Wijono, board member of Maluku Tourism Board, said: “We expect the historic link between Bali and the Kei Islands to help us promote the destination. We have been in touch with Bali Tourism Board for joint marketing and promotions in the future.”
He added that this year the Kei Islands would for the first time host the annual Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race.
TTG Asia

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