Tanjung Lesung is one of at least nine coastal destinations promoted for development by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. At about 150 kilometers from Jakarta it’s not too far for a weekend getaway from the city as well.
State-owned port operator Pelindo II, also known as the Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC), and publicly listed developer PT Jababeka have struck a deal to develop a cruise ship terminal and resort areas in Tanjung Lesung in Banten.
As the country’s cruise ship tourism continues to grow, Pelindo II president director RJ Lino said the port operator saw potential in developing resort areas and operating a cruise ship terminal in Tanjung Lesung, which is near the capital city.
“Jakarta currently has no facility to accommodate cruise ships. Therefore, we see a promising opportunity to develop this terminal as an alternative gate for foreign tourists to visit the capital city,” Lino said during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two firms.
The required investment totaled US$50 million, which will be derived from both companies’ internal funds, as well as from the pre-sale of villas in the resort areas.
The construction of the cruise terminal and the marina is expected to begin within the next six months and is targeted to be finished three years after it started, or by 2017.
The terminal will occupy 50 hectares of land and offer a total of 300 docks for the private yachts of the villa owners and another 3000 docks for public boats, according to Jababeka president director SD Darmono.
“We are hoping that the terminal will become a tourism hub that helps generate economic activities in the area,” he said, expecting the cruise terminal to bring in 1 million foreign visitors every year.
Banten, which is a home for the Badui community, offers both natural and cultural sites for foreign tourists arriving with cruise ships, he added.
Indonesia’s cruise sector is deemed as having a high potential as the number of cruise calls reached 309 last year, with a total of 159,578 passengers. That represents a 500 percent surge from the number recorded in 2001, according to the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry. The ministry has aimed to see an increase of foreign tourists brought to Indonesia aboard the ships to at least 500,000, with an expected 700 cruise calls in 2016.
Jababeka is also seeking to cooperate with national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia to build an airstrip to further boost the tourism potential in Tanjung Lesung. Several real estate developers, including Ciputra and Agung Podomoro, have also expressed their interest in building hotels in the area, according to Darmono.
“Several foreign investors, including those from China and Dubai, have expressed interest in investing in Tanjung Lesung,” he said.