REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BATAM -- The Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Environmental Affairs Indroyono Soesilo attended a ceremony held for naming a maritime tourism destination on Saturday.
The destination called "The Cheng Ho Sea Route: Archipelagic Sailing," route will cover Batam, Aceh, Palembang, Bangka Belitung, Jakarta, Semarang, Cirebon, Surabaya and Bali.
It is expected to lure more foreign tourists, particularly from China, the minister pointed out.
"This is an important asset, particularly for attracting tourists from China. The Chinese respect their ancestors and their cultural heritage," he stated.
Chinese traders consider "Nusantara" (Archipelago or now Indonesia) very important and have significantly influenced Indonesian culture.
The cultural influences are reflected, among other things in Indonesia's batik designs, cuisine, dance forms, architecture, and fashion, he pointed out.
The Deputy Governor of Batam, Soerya Respationo, also expressed the hope that more Chinese tourists will visit Batam and other tourist destinations in Riau Islands Province.
"This has helped beautify the area. It is a new attraction for drawing Chinese tourists to Batam and to other areas in Riau Islands," the deputy governor said.
In Batam, the Cheng Ho sailing ship monument is located in the Bengkok Golden City.