For the vast majority of international tourists to Indonesia, the only beaches they’re coming to see are those in world-famous Bali. But West Java is also home to two popular beach, Pangandaran and Batu Keras, although their fame is generally limited to Javanese families looking for a beach trip minus the Bali budget as well as some foreign surfers into the area’s well-renowned waves.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, who has already committed to cleaning up the infamously polluted Citarum River, announced another major water-based project for his administration over the weekend — turning Pangandaran Beach into a world-class destination like Hawaii’s Waikiki.
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PANTAI PANGANDARAN akan direvitalisasi dan ditata untuk jadi wisata kelas dunia. Kerjasama Pemprov Jabar dan Pemkab Pangandaran. Sepanjang garis pantai timur dan pantai barat akan ditata, diberi jalur pejalan kaki yang rindang dan nyaman. ________ Impiannya seperti Waikiki Beach di Hawaii. Juga akan dibangun Pusat Budaya Sunda seperti di Ubud Bali. Anggaran 40-65 milyar rupiah, dari APBD Propinsi dan APBD Kab. Pangandaran, akan dibelanjakan untuk proyek ini tahun 2019. _________ Bandara Nusa Wiru juga akan di desain ulang agar lebih keren dan membuka penerbangan ke Bandung atau Jakarta. Juga tentunya ini melengkapi jalur reaktivasi jalur Kereta Api dari Jakarta-Bandung-Pangandaran. _______ Selanjutnya penataan pantai-pantai Garut Selatan, Sukabumi Selatan dll. Mari ke pantai 🌊 #JABARJUARA. foto: berbagi sumber.
In the caption to this Instagram post, Ridwan says that Pangandaran Beach will be revitalized and arranged to become a world class tourist destination in a joint project between the West Java Provincial Government and the Pangandaran Regency Government. He promises shady and comfortable pedestrian paths along the beaches east and west coast lines with the dream of making it like Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. He also says there would be a Sundanese Cultural Center, such as the cultural center in Ubud, Bali.
The caption says the cost of the whole project would be IDR 40-65 billion (USD 2.7-4.2 million and will be included in the 2019 regional and district budgets. Ridwan also mentions improvements to Nusa Wiru Airport to make it better and more accessible for flights from Bandung or Jakarta as well as the re-establishment of a train line from Jakarta to Bandung to Pangandaran.
In more detailed comments to Kompas, the West Java governor said part of the plan was also to resettle slums along the coast line. He also told the newspaper that making Pangandaran like Hawaii wouldn’t be too hard from a design standpoint as long as visitors embraced and sustained it.
“I have been to Hawaii a number of times, I think it might not be that difficult as long as we follow the plan that we have designed and people follow the rules. We have to go up in class from the ordinary to the extraordinary,” he said.
The Indonesian government has been trying to invest in improving tourist destinations beyond Bali in recent years in an effort to create “10 New Balis”. Pangandaran Beach is not among those on the “New Balis” list, which includes locations such as Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara and Kepulauan Seribu in Jakarta.