Art performance in the opening ceremony of Sail Sabang 2017 (Source: VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) - Sail Sabang - the 9th edition of the international annual maritime tourism event, opened in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh on December 2, with the participation of 100 yachts from Asia, Europe, Australia and the US.

Themed "Toward Sabang as the Gate of Global Tourist Destination," Sail Sabang is taking place from November 28 to December 5, 2017 with over 30 activities.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla affirmed that Sabang in particular and Aceh province in general have a great potential for maritime tourism, adding that the event significantly contributes to promoting development in these areas, especially in infrastructure, investment attraction, and economic development.

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has added more flights to and from Aceh from November 29-December 3 to satisfy increasing travel demand during the time of the event.

Previously, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan recently saw off 768 participants of the 2017 Nusantara Jaya Expedition, which is part of Sail Sabang activities.

Sail Sabang is not merely an ordinary maritime tourism event, but it is aimed at accelerating developmental program in the region, particularly infrastructure and economic development, Pandjaitan remarked.

Indonesia has huge maritime tourism potential, as the country is the world’s largest archipelago, with maritime economic potential worth 1.33 trillion USD per year.

In 2016, Sail Sabang helped bring 13.5 billion USD to the country. The Indonesian Government has set to earn 15 billion USD from this year’s event.-VNA