Komodo National Park Will Remain Open for Tourism
Indonesian Authorities have announced that Komodo National Park, including the island of Komodo itself, will now remain open for tourism. The Indonesian government formed a team to conduct an evaluation of the National Park’s management, as well as the impact of growing tourism demands into the area. The local governor of East Nusa Tenggara Province then announced the possibility of closing Komodo National Park for one year. Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister, has now concluded that despite significantly increasing visitor numbers and the growth of tourism-related businesses in Labuan Bajo and Komodo, the population of the Komodo Dragons has been stable over recent years.
Officials decided that Komodo National Park must be sustainably managed by central and regional governments. It has been deemed a sensitive ecosystem, with extra attention placed upon local livelihoods and the conservation of the dragons. A new Labuan Bajo-Flores Integrated Tourism Master Plan is currently being developed and expected for completion in 2020.
The Komodo Dragon, native to Indonesia, is classified as a vulnerable species with the majority of its population found on Komodo Island itself. The Indonesian government estimates that some 1,700 dragons currently live on the island, while another 1,100 are believed to be residing on neighbouring Rinca Island.
At this time, there is still no clear direction from the government on how this will impact Cruise Line port calls, including those with confirmed reservations, or port and visitor fees. However, we are working closely with those departments directly responsible for these decisions and will communicate again once more information becomes available.