Belitung island is located in Bangka Belitung Province, on the east coast of Sumatera, Indonesia. The island is known as the tin island, as one of the main source of tin in Indonesia. It is said that the tin mining started since three centuries ago here. However, tin, that was the aim for industries when they first arrived here, is running out. Again, nature proves its might here in Belitung, by providing yet another chance for the economy, through tourism.
The most popular tourist attraction on this island is Tanjung Tinggi beach, with clear blue waters, white sand, and the scenic massive granite rocks. It’s 30 km north from the capital Tanjung Pandan. From Jakarta, Tanjung Tinggi can be reached by a direct flight to Tanjung Pandan, then drive to the beach for about 20 – 30 minutes with a rented car, that costs around Rp250.000 – Rp350.000. In 2008, the beach was featured 0n the blockbuster movie, Laskar Pelangi, a movie about a group of local children, struggling to pursue bigger dreams. After the successful release of the movie, more tourists started to visit Belitung.
To promote the tourism industry in Belitung, a festival titled Belitung Beach Festival, took place for the first time, in Tanjung Pendam beach, started from 18 to 20th May 2013. Several performances were on display. From traditional dance and music performances, traditional food cooking demo, and also a carnival from Jember Fashion Carnival, Indonesia’s first and biggest fashion carnival. Not only performing the eye candy fashion carnival, Dinan Fariz, founder and CEO of Jember Fashion Carnival said, JFC had also given some workshops to the people of Bangka – Belitung Province, so that the province could create their own fashion carnival.
Provincial officials plan to make this festival an annual events to keep tourists coming. But since Belitung has become a mining region for couple centuries, they still have several challenges to face. Investors are seriously eyeing on Belitung for tourism development. Hotels and resorts are sprawling alongside the beautiful beaches, and thus the island now needs qualified hospitality men power and a much better infrastructure to support it.
So Belitung and travelers, are you ready to rock?