As a popular wedding destination, Bali will have a new spot for those who wish to tie the knot in a more unique and memorable way.
A location in Tanjung Benoa is to be turned into a place where you can hold an underwater wedding.
Made Tromat, chairman of the Indonesian Marine Tourism Association (Gahawisri) Badung chapter, initiated the idea together with the Nusa Dua Reef Foundation.
With the trend for people from other areas in Indonesia, as well as overseas, to hold their weddings here, the island needed to have a more unique wedding destination, he said.
“We then initiated the idea and discussed it with the foundation, which will realize the idea and raise funding,” he told Bali Daily recently.
“Once this spot is ready, we’re positive it will attract many people, especially foreigners. We already have the market,” he said, adding that on some occasions he had already been asked by Australian tourists about holding an underwater wedding in Bali.
He said he had also proposed the idea to the regency’s Tourism Agency, but was still waiting for a response.
Tanjung Benoa is the watersports center for Bali and is located around 30 minutes from Ngurah Rai Airport on the southeastern tip of the island, near Nusa Dua.
Tromat said the ideal spot for wedding was located some 200 kilometers from Tanjung Benoa beach.
“It is in the middle of the ocean, about 12 to 14 meters underwater, far from watersports activities, and the water is calm.”
Pariama Hutasoit from the Nusa Dua Reef Foundation said the project to build the underwater wedding spot was now underway and that some statues with Balinese carving had been placed in the area.
“Building the underwater wedding spot is our long term plan, as part of our project to build a cultural park by placing Balinese statues underwater,” she said.
Tanjung Benoa will be the second location for the underwater cultural park after Nusa Dua. The project is an ongoing one funded by companies through their corporate social responsibility pro-grams, in the interests of marine conservation.
The establishment of the underwater cultural park, in which the statues serve as a media for corals to attach themselves and grow, was expected to help restore the marine ecosystem. The park is expected to become an icon for pro-environment, underwater tourism.
Pariama said the project in Tanjung Benoa would also include the placing of a 4-meter-high Bentar Temple, a traditional Balinese-style gateway.
Recently, the foundation placed welcome statues at a depth of 7 meters. These consist of a pair of statues depicting a Balinese man and woman; such statues are usually placed at the gates of a building.
All the statues for the underwater park are created by Balinese sculptors in Ubud, with the ideas from the foundation.
“We have already designed the cultural park for Tanjung Benoa, including the underwater wedding spot,” Pariama added.