Situated near the Pacific Ocean along Indonesia's most eastern border with Papua New Guinea,, the Biak Numfor Regency in the province of Papua is currently optimizing its tourism potentials through a number of developments. This year, the regency has allocated a budget up to IDR7 billion to build infrastructure and develop a tourism village on Samberpasi Islands. Along with this, Biak Numfor’s Office of Tourism will also build education facilities, small and medium business development, and a Samberpasi Fishing Village.
Acting Regent of Biak Numfor, Thomas Ondy explained that among the infrastructure to be built are public roads, water drainage system, street lighting, a marina, accommodation, housing improvement, a tourist information center,a multifunction hall, a clinic, playground, and more. There will also be facilities for various marine tourism activities such as rubber boats, Jet Ski, diving equipment, and more.
By providing all the necessary facilities for tourism and sea fishery, the Samberpasi Tourism village and the surrounding areas are expected to emerge as an excellent marine tourist destination Tourism and fishery are also projected to boost regional revenue.
Biak Numfor’s authority urges all elements of society to support the programs in the tourism and fishery sectors whiich are part of the marine sector development that is designated by President Joko Widodo as one of the top priorities for national development.
The seas around Biak Numfor are filled with abundant marine life. The largest island in this chain in north Papua covers 9.9 million hectares for sea cultivation area and 42,000 hectares of Beach area. With this vast stretch of area, Biak Numfor can produce 1.5 million tons of sea fish and 1.6 million fish from land fishery per year. This is also the reason why President Joko Widodo plans to build a port on the island of Biak.
“A modern Port needs to be established to boost the economy” stated the President.
The sea fishery of Biak Numfor are located in various areas including at Nusi Babaruk, Wundi, and Miosbefondi (Padaido Islands), East Numfor, West Numfor, North Biak, Urfu , Samber and Waroi (Yendidori ), as also the seas around Tanjung Barari. Fishery products from Biak Numfor are sold to local, national, and international markets including to Thailand, Australia, and Singapore. The main commodities are sea cucumber, lobster, various kinds of fish, clams, crabs, and more.
Speaker of Parliament of Biak Numfor Regency, Zeth Sandy, stated that the government places tourism and sea fishery as its top priority for development in line with the 2014-2019 Mid-Term Regional Program.
“The program is regulated under Regional Regulations of 31st December” added Zeth Sandy.
Biak Numfor on Biak Island can be reached by air from other major cities in Indonesia to its Frans Kaisiepo Airport which is served by Garuda Indonesia and Sriwijaya Airlines. There are a number of fascinating tourist attractions here including the 137 square kilometers Padaido Island which has superb underwater splendors and white sandy beaches;the Inpendi Beach at the Adoki Village; Wari Beach at the Bosnabraidi Village, North Boak District; Korem Beach, about 32km from downtown Biak city; Bosnik (Segara Indah) Beach in east Biak; Asaibori Beach which is perfect for diving, sunbathing; and more.
Frans Kaisiepo Airport to be opened for International Flights
President Joko Widodo during his recent visit to Papua brought up the possibility to re-open the Frans Kaisiepo airport on Biak Numfor for international flights to boost economic growth in the region and In east Indonesia in general. Previously, the airport served the Jakarta-Biak-Honolulu route, but due to the 1997 monetary crisis the route was discontinued. As a result Biak's economy slowed down.
“ I take the aspirations from the regents and mayors into consideration, with the aim to build a better future for the people of Papua” stated President Joko Widodo after a meeting with all mayors and regents of Papua at the Manuhua Air Force Military Based in Biak.
Meanwhile, the Minisry of Transportation stated that they are still studying the demand of passengers to Biak before reopening international flights to the Frans Kaisiepo Airport. “If demand is good, airlines will definitely want to fly there” explained the official of Directorate General of Air Transportation, Djoko Murjatmodjo.
The position of Biak Island has always been considered strategic since it is located on the border of the Indonesian Archipelago. In World War II Biak was used as a strategic base by Japanese Naval Forces in the Pacific until it was bombed by the US on 29th May 1944. In 2005, the Russian government expressed its intention to use Biak as a rocket and space satellite launching site xonsidering its strategic location.