Maluku holds Ambon Bay Festival 2006

Maluku Governor Karl Albert Ralahalu officially opened the first Ambon Bay Festival 2006 here on Wednesday, aimed at promoting tourism in the former sectarian conflict-torn province.

The festival was organized in the Ambon Bay area, featuring a number of Maluku art and cultural performances as well as traditional food.

"The event is aimed at promoting Maluku tourism to domestic and international tourists. We want also to inform the world that Maluku is now safe following the end of the sectarian conflict in 1999," the governor said.

Maluku whose more than 90 percent of its area is made up of waters is rich in marine ecosystem.

He expressed hope that the first festival ever held in the province could help attract businessmen to invest in marine-related projects, including marine tourist resorts.

Maluku waters is clear-blue, free of pollution and rich in marine flora and fauna, including beautiful and colorful coral reef and fish.

The festival which will last until November 17, will also be highlighted with various activities, such as a decorated boat competition.