Triton Bay is located in Kaimana Regency, West Papua Province. This bay is part of the world Coral Triangle that is rich in biodiversity.
The bay is made up of centuries-old coral islands dotted with verdant greenery, making the area a hidden paradise southeast of Kaimana.
The area is the habitat of hundreds of species of fish and other marine life as well as coral reefs, making it an exceptionally attractive destination for diving enthusiasts from all over the world.
To reach Triton Bay, tourists can take motorboats in a trip lasting an hour from the Kaimana port. Along the journey, they will be treated to breath-taking natural vistas and the captivating blue waters. According to a motorboat driver, the rental price for a speedboat on a one-way trip is IDR 5-6 million with a capacity of up to 11 passengers, depending on the boat’s size.
Before reaching their destination, tourists will pass through Erana waters which is the habitat of the whale shark, the largest plankton-consuming fish in the world. In addition, in Maimai waters, prehistoric paintings on rocks can be found, adding to the stories that can be told at the conclusion of their visit.
The paintings display a variety of patterns such as human hands, geckos, and others. While they are clearly visible, the exact meanings of these prehistoric relics are unknown.
“These paintings have existed since we were children, but we do not know their meanings,” said Dahlan Samai, a resident of Namatota Village, Kaimana, as quoted by Antara.
Attraction, Amenity, and Accessibility
Bank Indonesia (BI) Representative of Southwest Papua Province has encouraged the Kaimana Regency Government to adopt the 3A concept (Attraction, Amenity, and Accessibility) in planning sustainable tourism development in the region.
The attraction concept relates to art, culture, historical heritage, local traditions, and natural wealth as tourist attractions. The concept of amenity includes public facilities such as houses of worship, clean water, and others that are important for tourism development.
While accessibility is related to facilities and infrastructure to provide comfort in travelling.
The Head of BI West Papua, Rommy Sariu Tamawiwy, stated that Bank Indonesia as a strategic partner of the local government always provides support for tourism development plans in Kaimana.
To maximise tourism potential in Kaimana, it is necessary to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the local government and the private sector. Bank Indonesia is ready to support all the needs of tourism awareness groups.
“Bank Indonesia will be there to support all the needs of tourism awareness groups,” said Rommy.
However, the local government also needs to pay attention to supporting tourism facilities and infrastructure such as stairs and selfie locations in the Triton Bay landscape, accommodation, telecommunications, and transportation.
In addition, Bank Indonesia has encouraged the use of digital payment systems to facilitate tourists visiting Kaimana.
Digital-based tourism development can have a positive impact on Kaimana’s local revenue. In 2022, the economy of Kaimana Regency grew by 1.12 per cent (year on year) which was influenced by the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector by 29 per cent.
The continuous pursuit of tourism development will provide support to the economy of Kaimana Regency in the future. Strong collaboration and synergy are needed in developing tourism in the region.
“This requires strong collaboration and synergy,” said Rommy.
Regional Government Efforts
The Kaimana Regency Government has designated five Tourism Strategic Areas (KSPs) in accordance with the Kaimana tourism sector development plan designed in collaboration with Udayana University, Bali.
The first KSP consists of Foromajaya, Marsi, and Maimai villages, while the second KSP consists of Namatota, Lobo, Teluk Triton, and Siawatan villages. The third KSP consists of Arguni Bay and Kambrauw, the fourth KSP consists of Teluk Etna and Yamor villages, and the fifth KSP consists of Buruway village.
According to Kaimana Regent Freddy Thie, tourist destinations in Kaimana have their own advantages compared to the world-renowned Raja Ampat. Some interesting tourist attractions in Kaimana include Triton Bay, comb ponds, Karawawi waterfall, Venue Island, prehistoric paintings, and whale shark ecotourism.
The government, he said, will develop the five KSPs in stages, depending on the region’s financial situation, and will rely on private sector participation to assist in tourism development.
The local government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Lion Air to add Batik Air flight routes from Jakarta to Kaimana. However, before that, the local government will build Utarom Kaimana Airport, which will be supported by the Ministry of Transportation to the tune of IDR 45 billion in 2023.
“In 2021 we have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Batik Air, but we have to develop the airport in 2023,” he explained.
Even so, support from local communities, especially indigenous communities, is very important in the development of tourism infrastructure. The government continues to educate people in Kaimana about the benefits of tourism for the economy.