Durian. Indonesian government is set to build a seaport and other supporting infrastructures in West Sumatra which is part of new marine center project to develop the province’s tourism industry.
Infrastructure and transportation coordination deputy at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs Ridwan Djamaluddin said the government acknowledged the potential of tourism sector in West Sumatra and had decided to build a “marine center” to support the ever-growing industry.
“The fastest progress in West Sumatra is [within] its tourism sector. Mentawai [islands regency] is home to world-class tourist destination. Therefore, we must start constructing decent infrastructures to provide visiting tourists with quality port,” Djamaluddin said.
He added that the marine center will also add a maritime atmosphere to the city of Padang, the province’s capital. Therefore, in addition to port and other constructions, the center will also be home to various products from the local maritime-based community.
“We expect the center to run its function as port while also exhibiting how a maritime-based community can be revived. It will have culinary and exhibition center, among others,” the official said.
According to West Sumatra’sdeputy governor Nasrul Abit, the initiative to build the marine center came from the Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. He also added that the regional government had started to prepare related permits as part of the initial steps to realize the project.
Prior to this project, the government had also decided to build airport in Mentawai. Djamaluddin said the development of the marine center will complement the development of airport, with the end goal to give tourists more options to get to the island: via air or water transportation.
Mentawai islands are popular among world’s surfers and divers.