REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SOUTH NIAS -- Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan echoed the Indonesian government’s resoluteness to transform Nias into a global tourist destination gateway. Pandjaitan paid a visit to Nias to officially open the international maritime event of Sail Nias 2019 at a ceremony organized at the Teluk Dalam Seaport, South Nias District, North Sumatra Province, here on Saturday.
"We see Nias as one of the most popular regions for surfing. We have organized international surfing competitions here. The tourism minister is also present here. We are determined to make Nias better," he stated.
He called upon on elements of the nation, including the government and community, to remain committed to working hard to promote tourist destinations existing on Nias Island. He expressed the government’s keenness to boost public welfare that elicits the support of the people.
Sail Nias is the 11th series of Sail Indonesia organized annually since 2009 in Bunaken, North Sulawesi. Sail Indonesia is initially aimed at intensifying development in remote regions in Indonesia and promoting tourist destinations in the host regions.
Various activities were organized during the event, including the Wonderful Nias Expo 2019, an international surfing contest, a battleship parade, Nias Marathon, a culinary bazaar, and traditional art and cultural performances. Other activities comprised Wind Surfing and Sailing Contests, Free Diving Competition, Stone Jump Festival, Traditional Fishing Boat Parade, Coffee Festival, Fishing Tournament, Wonderful Tourism Photo Expo, One Thousand Tents Festival, and the Mt Sitoli cultural seminar.
Sail Nias, organized from July to September 2019, unveiled Nias Island, as the best-kept secret of Indonesians, to the world. A ceremonial stone jump tradition is the icon of Nias and has already gained popularity among travelers. The stone jump tradition was born, along with the Nias War Dance. Since primeval times, clashes would often erupt among tribes in Nias, and the chief (siulu) of every tribe trained their young members for war; stone jumping being part of the training. Among the best-kept secrets of Nias Island is Sorake beach, recognized as the second-best place to surf, after Hawaii.