Proposal to Close Komodo Island to Visitors
Renowned for its Komodo dragon, Komodo Island is one of the major tourist attractions in Indonesia. The beauty of the island’s flora and fauna is the other factor that drives people from all walks of life to visit this place. It is therefore a great shock to many people that the island will face closure in the year 2020.
This decision by the Federal Government of Indonesia and some NGOs may seem extreme but it is for the benefit of the government, the locals, the tourists and the fauna and flora of the island. Because of its attraction to many tourists, the island is definitely one of the main income earners for the Federal Government.
The island also boasts of some of the best hotels in Indonesia and cruise tours within and around the island aboard the best Komodo Island cruise ships such as the Ayana Lako di’a. The government and the NGOs, however have good reasons for intending to close the island.
Why Komodo Island is facing closure
Though the island will not remain closed forever, the effort is to try and save the Komodo dragon, the vegetation and other animals in the forest. The Komodo dragon gets its food by preying on other smaller animals such as the deer and the number of animals to feed on is deteriorating at a high rate. This puts the endangered lizard species at risk because without enough food for their survival they will start dying.
To make sure the animals to prey on increase, the Nusa Tenggara (NTT) government is also closing the island to improve the forest conservation by planting more trees. Deer and other animals need vegetation to survive and without that, they too will decrease. Speaking about the closure, which will go on for one year, the NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat assured the world that the closure would benefit everyone including the locals.
Should the closure cause any panic?
The news of the islands closure sent panic to many people, which is understandable considering the popularity of Komodo Island. People that have always wanted to visit the island are doing it now in droves before the closure. While this may have sent panic to many people across the world, there is absolutely nothing to worry about the closure.
The island is popular for divers and the closure will not affect any of the diving spots. The spots will still deliver incredible experiences for scuba divers within and around the island. The Komodo National Park will still be accessible for the viewing of the diverse marine life, you will still have a chance to explore the wild, and if you are lucky, you might see the dragons living in the Loh Buaya and on Rinca Island.
For anyone that will still want to see the dragons, they can do so at the Rinca Island where majority of the dragon sightseeing tours are, Flores and Gili Motong. The island has a number of liveboards that will take all the visitors around the island to see the dragons and other wildlife. Also available for the tours will be the cruise ships that will take you to the neighbouring islands to see the dragons in the world and enjoy other amazing sceneries.
In recent news, there was a report of over 40 Komodo dragons stolen from the island and sold overseas for an approximate amount of $35,000. If this does not end, then there will be fewer dragons to see and this may decrease the number of tourists visiting the island. This will also affect the local community because many of them make their livelihood from tending to the tourists.
Wrapping it up
There are many different sentiments from various people about the closure of the island. While some feel it is not the right solution, many others are for the closure. The closure may affect the flow of income to the island but in the long run when all is back to normal, it will be worthwhile. Therefore, if you wanted to visit the island in 2020, you may need to change your plans and visit it before the closure.