Lombok tourism ready to take off – News
When he first arrived ten years ago on the island of Lombok, Andrew Corkery was a bit shocked. It took him about two hours to reach southern Lombok from the old Mataram airport due to poor road conditions.
The Australian national who was initially keen to invest in the island due to the impending operation of the new Lombok International Airport at the time, decided to cancel his plans.
âDue to the poor condition of the roads, it took us too long to reach the destination from the airport,â Corkery said.
However, he changed his mind again the next day. âIn the morning the sun came up and the view of the bay that we saw was magnificent. We have decided to continue with the investment plans, âCorkery said.
At Selong Belanak Bay, Corkery and its partners then purchased 16 hectares of hillside land with breathtaking views of the bay, where they established the Selong Selo Resort and Residence in 2009.
âThen things happened; the airport has arrived, the road has improved, the infrastructure has arrived. He [was] a good place to invest, âCorkery said, adding that plans were currently being made to become a beach club and other properties in Lombok.
âWhat the government has done with foreign investors is very beneficial. It becomes much easier for us to come in and invest, âhe said.
Over the past two years, Lombok has become one of the country’s emerging tourist destinations. It welcomed more than 3 million visitors in 2016 and is growing steadily by more than 20% year on year.
Although last year’s earthquake reduced the number of visitors, tourism to Lombok has rebounded and many developments are currently planned. It was also included in the “New Bali” program alongside nine other tourist destinations in Indonesia.
A new destination called the Mandalika is currently under construction on 1,175 hectares of land with 12,000 hotel rooms, a 350,000 mÂ² retail space, a 78-berth marina and a 120-hectare theme park in the pipeline. . The area will also feature a city circuit complex to host MotoGP in 2021.
Lots of potential investments are coming to the island as well, as the Island Tourism Forum revealed at the end of April.
Initiated by the Australian Consulate General in Bali, the forum brought together government agencies, academia, businesses, NGOs and social communities to share experiences, encourage partnerships and explore related investment and business opportunities. in West Nusa Tenggara.
âThe initiative was inspired by a growing interest of Australians and Australian businesses in the tourism sector in Lombok,â said Australian Consul General in Bali Helena Studdert.
Studdert said the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Indonesia and Australia in March 2019 was another step in building two-way trade and investment.
“While the agreement has yet to be ratified by the two governments, it provides a framework for improved cooperation and collaboration between our two countries, including in education and tourism services,” she said. .
Read also: Lombok tourism takes small steps towards recovery from earthquake
Many infrastructure projects will also hit the island, connecting some tourist areas. In its tourism development master plan, West Nusa Tenggara Province has chosen at least five potential areas that offer magnificent, charming and exotic vistas of Lombok, including Kuta Mandalika and its surroundings, Senggigi and the three Gilis, Rasimas-Sembalun and its surroundings, Mataram and its surroundings and Alabutan and its surroundings.
Besides Lombok Island, the master plan also includes seven potential tourist areas on Sumbawa Island. Meanwhile, West Nusa Tenggara offers a variety of choices: marine tourism, mountain nature tourism, and cultural tourism.
The islands of Lombok and Sumbawa are the two largest in the province, with 278 islets known locally as Gilis.
West Nusa Tenggara Governor Zulkieflimansyah said he was very optimistic about the development of tourism in his region, especially since a direct flight from Australia is due to start operating in June.
âThere are a lot of Australians who want to visit Lombok. With the availability of direct flight, it will be easier for them to reach our region, âhe said.
Nowadays, Lombok is best known for its three famous Gili Islands namely Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Many foreigners, especially Australians, visit the island via Bali. Following the opening of Lombok International Airport, some direct flights are planned.
Zulkieflimansyah said his administration will ensure the province is investor friendly. âWe should change our bureaucracy to facilitate investors and put them at ease as they also want to build a lot of facilities in West Nusa Tenggara,â he said, adding that the investment was important to boost the economy local.
Francesco Bruno, CEO of PT Autore Pearl Culture, an Australia-based company that has cultivated South Sea pearls in Lombok, Sumbawa and Java for 22 years, said there has been a lot of progress in the region in terms of of local government deals with investors.
âNow they have become more transparent to investors. There are still problems; [it is] not as easy as we hope. However, I have seen a lot of positive progress, âhe said.
Recognizing the potential growth of tourism in Lombok, Autore Pearl Culture has also launched an educational tourism program that allows tourists to see how pearls were made.
âWe will invest more in Lombok in the near future. I am completely optimistic about tourism in Lombok, âadded Bruno.
Ricky Baheramsjah, head of investment and marketing at the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), was also optimistic about Lombok tourism. ITDC is a public company that has successfully built and managed The Nusa Dua, a 350 ha integrated tourism estate in Bali. This is the company that is currently developing the Mandalika.
âWhen we started in Lombok, the challenges were similar to what Nusa Dua was 40 to 45 years ago,â he said, adding that accessibility, facilities and human resources were among the challenges. main challenges.
However, Ricky said there have been many infrastructure developments on the island. Locals can also see how tourism benefits their personal wealth.
“Because at the end of the day we create jobs and at the end of the day I think that’s what people really want: to be able to provide for their families, to give their children a future too.” , did he declare. said, adding that ITDC also wanted to develop areas outside of Mandalika. (kes)