The Lewotobi mountains in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara (B1 Photo)

Tour de Flores to Attract Cyclists — and Travelers — to Scenic East Nusa Tenggara

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

NOVEMBER 26, 2015

Jakarta. From the pink beaches of Komodo Island to the tranquil waterfront of Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara boasts a variety of unique travel destinations that have attracted local and international travelers alike.

To further increase tourist visits to the region, the provincial government is slated to organize the Tour de Flores cycle race in May next year.

Modeled after the success of the Tour de Singkarak in West Sumatra, the race will feature some 230 professional cyclists from various countries, including Indonesia.

The competition will take place over six stages on a 648-kilometer route across the island of Flores, starting in Larantuka, the island's easternmost tip, and finishing at Labuan Bajo.

Throughout the route, participants can take in the island's breathtaking scenic beauty, characterized by its mountainous interior and idyllic beaches.

The Tour de Flores will be sanctioned by the UCI, the governing body for international cycling competitions.

In conjunction with the race, various programs for visitors will be held, including visits to natural wonders in the region, an array of cultural attractions, as well as a grand bazaar. According to the event's organizers, towns like Maumere, Ende, Manggarai and Labuan Bajo are ready to prepare their own special events.

The chairman of the Tour de Flores, Primus Dorimulu, expressed his hope that the event would help boost the tourism industry in East Nusa Tenggara and its economy in general.

"A highlight of the Tour de Flores is that all cyclists get to test their endurance while enjoying Flores's natural beauty and cultural heritage," he said. "At the end of each stage, the participants can enjoy various cultural attractions [in each town they arrive in]."

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya also echoed Primus's wish when meeting with the event's organizing committee last Tuesday.

"We hope that the series of programs held during the Tour de Flores will increase the number of international and domestic tourists coming to the region annually as well as empower various economic activities here," he said.

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