LABUAN BAJO (eNBe Indonesia) – The number of tourists visiting Komodo National Park in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara province has doubled in recent years. In 2014, 80,000 tourists visited the park and the number soared into 170,000 in 2018.
“60% of people visiting the park are foreign tourists,” said Head of the Komodo National Park Lukita Awang while accompanying President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo during his visit to Rinca Island, one of the locations in the Komodo National Park area, Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday (11/7).
Lukita stated that there are approximately 2,800 Komodo dragons in the park, in which 1,040 of them live within Rinca Island.
The number of those Komodo dragons, he added, has been fluctuating due to natural conditions. For example, when the number of prey rises, the population of Komodo dragons will rise accordingly and vice versa, he said.
“During a stable condition, the number of dragons in the entire national park area is between 2,000 and 3,000,” Lukita said.
The Komodo National Park area, according to Lukita, consists of 147 islands, including 5 large islands namely Komodo Island, Rinca Island, Padar Island, Nusa Kode Island, and Gili Motang Island. The park spreads across 137 thousand hectares, 60% of which consists of waters.
On that occasion, Lukita Awang asked for the President’s directive regarding measures to improve supporting facilities in Rinca Island, for example, the need to increase capacity of the pier to anticipate the rising number tourists. In addition, access to the Loh Buaya area in Rinca Island also needs to be improved due to floods in certain seasons.
Lukita also went to say that Komodo dragons are not only found in the Komodo National Park, but also on the Flores plain. Therefore, he reminded the importance of shared awareness to conserve the giant lizards, while at the same time developing a new destination on the Flores plain. (setkab.go.id)