Jakarta. Chinese tourists are coming in droves to Berau in East Kalimantan, attracted by the district's resort islands and helped by the opening of the new Maratua Airport.
By January next year, approximately 3,000 tourists from China are expected to have flown into Maratua Island from Guangzhou.
Maratua is the latest resort island in the area, aside from Derawan and Kakaban, to have become the darling of international visitors.
Berau's deputy district head Agus Tantomo said more overseas tourists have been coming in to the region since the new Maratua Airport was opened in February.
Some airlines already offer regular flights to Maratua, including Susi Air with a flight from Tarakan to Maratua and Kalimarau every Wednesday and Garuda Indonesia with a flight from Balikpapan to Maratua every Saturday.
"By December we plan to have a direct flight from Hong Kong to Tarakan then to Maratua. A total of six flights a month," Agus said on Sunday (19/11).
According to him, tourism in Berau has already grown by 24 percent this year since the opening of the Maratua Airport.