Interesting things came from President Jokowi’s statement. Via his Instagram account, he said that Sukabumi has everything, from geopark, beach and mountain.
From this statement we can see that the “geopark” has become a concern for the government. Indeed, this can be seen from the emergence of geopark development support programs in Indonesia. Among them are the establishment of the Indonesian National Geopark Commission, the holding of the Indonesian Geopark Conference and the participation of ministries in the implementation of national and UNESCO geopark.
Especially for the Geopark-Ciletuh Palabuhanratu, which is now a UNESCO Global Geopark, there are still many challenges and homework that must be resolved in order to maintain that status. The biggest challenge is accessibility and infrastructure. The length of travel time, which is 7-9 hours from Jakarta or Bandung, is a problem most often complained by tourists.
The interest of tourists visiting the geopark region is getting higher nowadays and has been welcomed by the government by preparing easy access to tourism, namely the construction of toll roads and railways, where the plan has been abandoned for 20 years since 1997. In 2015, the rebuilding plan was realized, of course with tough negotiations.
On December 2, 2018, the Bocimi Toll Road Section I began operations which connected Ciawi to Cigombong with a length of 15.35 kilometers. Bocimi Toll Road itself has an overall length of 54 kilometers, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, along with the completion of the double railroad line from Bogor to Sukabumi, whose construction is also underway.
This development is good news for the Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu Geopark. Based on visit data, tourists from Jakarta are the largest number of tourists to the geopark region. With the existence of Tol Bocimi and the Bogor-Sukabumi railway, tourists can shorten their travel time and have alternatives to reach the geopark area.
By: Rinaldi Ikhram