JAKARTA, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia is taking a series of steps to promote the coral reef destination of Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi province, including opening multiple flights to reach a target of 500,000 foreign tourists by 2019, according to government sources.
Among the steps were intensifying the connecting flights serving Wakatobi, carried out by state-run airlines Garuda Indonesia by opening flight service from the province's capital of Kendari to Wakatobi's newly-built airport of Matahora.
Garuda Indonesia Marketing and Information Technology Director Nina Sulistyowiati said that the opening of the flight route was part of the national efforts to expand air connectivity to the nation's new destinations.
Garuda Indonesia will assign the ATR 72-600 propeller plane to ply for the Kendari-Wakatobi route four times a week.
Wakatobi is among Indonesia's prioritized destinations and part of ten new destinations across the country.
The development of Indonesia's ten new destinations is aimed at tapping more foreign tourist arrivals, inline with the government's vision to make tourism a leading sector in the country.
The Wakatobi coral reef is located at the center of the world's coral reef triangle that spans from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island and Timor Leste.