ACEH IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Tourism is one of our main priority sectors in increasing economic growth in the region. The province receives an increasing number of tourist arrival each year, with an average increase of 5 percent per year. Last year, in 2019, the total number of visitors reached 2,6 million tourists from both national and international arrivals. In the past few years, tourism industry in Aceh has seen a tremendous transformation from once being one of the less visited provinces to becoming one of the most visited provinces in Indonesia. The positive trend in tourism industry has created thousands of jobs while increasing living standard of the people of Aceh with the spirit of tourism branding of ‘The Light of Aceh’.
The Government of Aceh has been positioning itself to become one of the leading destinations for investment in Indonesia, by leveraging its strategic location along the strait of Malacca, productive workforce, rich natural resources and top-ranked infrastructures. Today, we are eager to catch up on economic development and partnership with other countries and regions, especially with our fellow partner the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Aceh is known for its beautiful scenery of beaches, pristine rainforest and amazing underwater of marine life, and a stunning UNESCO World Heritage of Sumatran rainforest and cultural heritage of Saman dance. Pulau Banyak is among most promoted and visited destinations for marine based eco tourism in Aceh that is attracting tourists from all over the world. The increasing number of tourist arrival demands more facilities of accomodation and resorts with international standards.
The Government of Aceh is committed in providing several business incentives, among them are guaranteed legal process, simplified licensing procedures, eased off tax burdens and assistance in the process of land acquisition. We kindly welcome private business and the Government the UEA to invest in Pulau Banyak.
Thank you for your interest to invest in Aceh.
Ir. Nova Iriansyah, MT
Governor of Aceh
I. ACEH: AN OVERVIEW
Aceh is one of Indonesia’s 34 provinces located at the westernmost part of Republic of Indonesia. The province is located at one of the world’s busiest international shipping lines, the Malacca Straits, and around 150 kilometers up north to Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. Demographically, Aceh has around 5.2 million population (2019), covering a total area of 5.6 million hectares and half of which is still covered with pristine rainforest of Sumatra.
The province is around 500 kilometers or roughly 45 minutes connecting to Phuket-Thailand and Penang- Malaysia and around five hours flight from Abu Dhabi, UAE. Aceh is a member of Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), a sub-regional cooperation initiative set to boost economic liberalization and integration among ASEAN member states.
Aceh is the northernmost province in Indonesia which shares direct border with India and close to most of ASEAN member states with 500 million potential costumers. The province is often dubbed as ‘the Veranda of Mecca’ not only because of its rich Islamic heritage, but also because of the province’s close proximity to the Middle East, compared to other regions in Indonesia. The distance between Banda Aceh and Abu Dhabi is
around 4700 km, or five hours by flight.
Pulau Banyak as proposed investment destinations in this document are strategically located for the development of tourism industry. Pulau Banyak is rightly located in the western part of touristic destinations of Sumatera, which integrates with the national tourism super corridor destination of Lake Toba.
II. TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN PULAU BANYAK – ACEH SINGKIL
Pulau Banyak (Banyak Islands) are a group of tiny islands in Aceh Singkil, Indonesia. The islands consist of more than 64 small islands, in which the largest of the islands are Tuangku Island and Bangkaru Island. Covering an area of 293 square km, Pulau Banyak is administratively divided into two sub-districts
(kecamatan), namely Pulau Banyak Subdistrict and West Pulau Banyak Subdistrict. The group of island has a population of 7,659 people (2019), who depend on economic activities in tourism, fisheries and agriculture sector. Most of the islands in Pulau Banyak are uninhabited and blessed with beautiful white sandy beaches, great coral reef and pristine mangrove rainforest.
The Islands with its uniqueness attract tourists both from national and international visitors, eagerly to enjoy various tourism activities, ranging from diving, surfing, snorkeling, turtles conservation, kayaking to jungle trekking. In 2018 and 2019, the number of domestic tourists visiting the islands totaling at 80,328 and 95,309, and international tourists totalling at 3,345 and 4,229 people respectively. The increasing number of tourist arrival on the island, consequentially demanding more upgraded supporting tourism facilities and better hospitality service, like accesibilities, amenities and attractions. The government has a steadfast commitment in providing several business incentives, among them are, guaranteed legal process, simplified licensing procedures, eased off tax burdens and technical assistance in the process of land acquisition.
Pulau Banyak is mainly accessible by regular ferry (ro-ro ferry) service and speed private boat from Port of Singkil, which is located at Pulau Sarok, Singkil Subdistrict. The distance between Singkil to Pulau Banyak is around 43 kilometers or 26 miles. The duration by speed ferry is 2 hours and by regular ferry would take around 4 hours – 4.5 hours. Express Ferry is also operating with 70 passengers connecting Singkil – Pulau Banyak, Pulau Banyak – Pulau Banyak Barat (round trip), whereas a ro-ro typed ferry of Teluk Singkil sails connecting Singkil – Simeulue – Singkil – Kepulauan Nias – Singkil – Pulau Banyak.
There are five airports potentially connecting Syech Hamzah Fansuri Airport (Aceh Singkil):
Syech Hamzah Fansuri Airport located Desa Kampung Baru Village, Singkil Utara Subdistrict has a 1880 x 45 m runway. The runway will be expanded to 2.250 meter in the efforts to be landed by boeing typed aircrafts that will connect to major tourist destinations and cities such as Lake Toba, Banda Aceh, Simeulue, Medan and Jakarta. Singkil is easily accessible by land, thanks for its strategic geographical location in the middle of the tourist corridor of the West Coast of Sumatra (Medan-Brastagi-Dairi-Danau Toba-West Sumatra- Sabang – Banda Aceh- Simelue- Nias). Aceh Singkil was included in the tourism corridor for the National Priority Tourism Destination (KSPN) of Lake Toba, which has seen tourist visits of about 250.000 in 2019.
Speed ferry services (left), and private speed boat (rigth) are among popular mode of transport in Pulau Banyak
The tourism on Pulau Banyak is not very well developed due to lack of supporting tourism infrastructures. Nevertheless, there are several tourism-based industries that have long been developed and managed by the locals, such as tourist resorts, travel agencies, home stay, restaurant, café and family tourist resorts.
Consequently, they urgently need technical, technological, financial, management and marketing supports in the efforts to boost up their economy in tourism sector and attract more national and international visitors to stay longer during their visit to Pulau Banyak. In addition, improving connectivity covering land, air and sea transportation connecting other potential tourist destinations, such as Lake Toba to Pulau Banyak is urgently needed.
Other public amenities in terms of water resource facilities, banks, money changers, tourism packages, new tourism resorts, seaports and airports, guides, souvenir shops, café, restaurants and other supporting facilities at the destinations are also required to be upgraded. National and international
supports in the forms of investment and joint cooperation on the development of Pulau Banyak as future promising tourist destination is therefore expected on mutual ‘win-win’ benefits.
There is a number of wonderful tourism events based on local characters and values that draws tourist attention from national and international tourists to explore and feel their uniqueness. Amazingly, some of the events have become regular annual event of national Calendar of Events (CoE). Events such as International Surfing Festival, International Turtle Festival, International Fishing Festival, Private Jet Air Show, International Yacht Festival, International Marine Scout Summit, Pulau Banyak International Cultural Festival, and International Conference or MICE are among mostly awaited events in the island.
Pulau Banyak is also endowed with diverse amazing natural tourist attractions, such as Great Barrier Reef of Pulau Tuangku, Mangrove Rainforest at Sarang Gantung, Seaturtle Conservation Park, Rock Formation at Ujung Batu and some other world-class surfing and diving spots that are worth visiting by surfers and divers from all over the world. Other attractions like Rawa Singkil Peatland Forest (Little Amazon) offers valuable resources for education and scientific purposes.
Some diving spots are available and challenging, which are located in Sikandang, Matahari, Rago-Rago and Tailana Islands. Those are the best destinations to enjoy sea scenery due to the crystal clear sea water and proportionate waves. Apart from diving, Pulau Banyak is suitable to enjoy more challenging activities like kayaking and surfing. A number of tourists visit that islands for surfing in Palambak Besar and Bangkaru. The waves can reach up to 6 meters, especially at times between April and August.
Investment projects offered in Pulau Banyak are presented based on the development of tourism zoning plans spreading across the islands. The tourism zoning plans comprises of Haloban Seafront City Center, Ujung Lolok Golf Hotels & Resorts, Ujung Lolok Mangrove Conservation Park, Palambak Island Park, Tailana Marine Park, Bangkaru Biodiversity Rainforest, Sarang Gantung Private Residences and Properties, Ujung Batu Resorts and Marine Biodiversity Parks, Little Amazon Mangrove Biodiversity Forest and Pulau Banyak Regional Airport.