Antara, Jakarta – The East Nusa Tenggara provincial government is developing an online ticketing system for the Komodo National Park, the world's remaining natural habitat of Komodo dragons, and proposing a year long pass to an island with biggest Komodo population for foreign visitors at $1,000, a spokesman said on Sunday.
Targeted to run next year, the online booking system is meant to attract more foreign visitors to the island and increase the regional government's tourism revenues.
"We are preparing a ticket payment technology for the Komodo Island. The system will be connected to banks for easy payment by foreign visitors, starting next year," government spokesman Marius Ardu Jelamu said in the provincial capital of Kupang.
Foreign visitors will be offered with premium passes but they must pay $1,000, which he said was 'very cheap'.
"The $1,000 entry pass is very cheap for a foreigner visiting the Komodo Island, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. A rare creature like Komodo has its price," he said.
"The pass is valid for one year and the holder may come anytime during the period," he said.
The online ticketing will be developed jointly with provincial government-owned Bank NTT, he added.
The government targeted 50,000 foreign visits to the island and a revenue of at least Rp 600 billion ($42,5 million) a year.
The Komodo National Park comprises three islands and is home to more than 2,800 Komodo dragons. The Komodo Island has the biggest population of the world's largest lizards named after the island. According to the government's latest data, the island is home to 1,727 Komodo dragons.
The government said earlier visitors to the Komodo Island will be required to have a premium pass, otherwise they can only visit two other islands.