Tourism Minister Arief Yahya rejected the closure plan of Komodo National Park as initiated by the East Nusa Tenggara provincial administration.
“There is no relevance to close Komodo National Park,” said Arief Yahya in the Sapta Pesona building, Jakarta, Tuesday, January 29.
The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat planned to shut down the tourism site Komodo National Park for a year in a bid to increase the population of the endangered animal Komodo and its main food, deer. According to Viktor, the plan will be carried out for the sake of preserving Komodo habitat from extinction.
Arief Yahya opined that the plan would be detrimental for travel agents considering they would be confused to offer tour packages following the park closure.
“They have promoted and advertised [Komodo National Park] and suddenly it is closed, who will be responsible for this?” said the minister, underlining that certainty is more vital.
Minister Arief Yahya claimed that his statement was seconded by Vice President Jusuf Kalla or JK. “Pak JK said that it’s not relevant to close Komodo National Park,” he added.
The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is planning to establish a meeting with related stakeholders to discuss the polemic. “The ministry has issued an invitation letter,” Arief Yahya said.