Lombok Island wants more visitors

Lombok Island is located just east of Bali, and is part of the Province of West Nusa Tenggara.

In 2009 the island (or islands, as one of the most popular tourist destinations are the Gili Islands, which are just off the coast of Lombok, received 610,000 domestic and international visitors and they hope to welcome a million travellers by 2012.

The government is confident that it will reach worldwide exposure with the hosting of its ‘Visit Year Lombok’ in year 2012.  Although I’m not sure how that message will reach a global audience as Lombok is nowhere near as well known as its neighbour Bali.

However, Lombok does compare well to Bali in that Lombok is bigger than its neighbour, and it is certainly more unspoilt. Australians and Koreans form the bulk of the visitors to the Island. Australia is their top market while Korea is one of the fastest growing incoming markets for them.

At present, the entire Lombok tourism industry is investing US$ 28 million to upgrade Lombok tourism product including the training of human resources, the management of destinations and the organisation of events.

Among Lombok-Sumbawa priority projects are the improvement of roads, the completion of the new airport and the development of further international standard hotels. However, this being Indonesia, not everything has gone to plan. Perhaps the best example of how not to do things is the new airport located in Southern Lombok. Originally planned to be opened in April 2010, the airport with its 2,750 m-runway will be able to welcome more international flights, in particular from Australia or the Middle-East. But the achievement of Lombok’s much needed new air facility encounters delays after delays.

According to official sources, the passengers terminal is currently enlarged compared to initial plans, causing partially the current delay. But in reality, construction companies have been behind schedule to respect construction timing due to various factors such as power shortage or flooding, while roads leading to the airport have failed to materialize.     

Other roads’ enlargement and by-passes are currently under construction in an area stretching from Gili Islands pier in the northwest to Senggigi resort and the Island’s Capital Mataram.

Advances to turn Lombok into a world standard destination are already visible. They are more and more fine hotels and dining facilities available. The island has a rich cultural heritage with local Sasak and Balinese people living harmoniously together and untouched nature around Mount Rinjani National Park.

One problem facing Lombok is that many visitors go to Lombok to escape Bali, which, around the Kuta-Legian strip, is becoming too busy and takes away from the laid back tropical atmosphere once enjoyed by Bali.  If Lombok develops too quickly, visitors which simply seek another nearby, undeveloped tropical isle, so Lombok could miss out on prospective visitors.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>