News

Lombok determined not to be next Bali

The Indonesian island of Lombok will ramp up its play for Australian tourists on the back of a new direct air link with Perth, but its tourism industry is adamant it will not follow the same route as neighbouring Bali.

With tourism seen as vital to the island’s economic development, the launch of Jetstar’s four times weekly Lombok-Perth link last week has been welcomed by the local industry which is keen to see it rise to daily and extended to other Australian ports.

Once of the destination’s most significant markets, Australian visitor numbers dropped off as a number of events, including 2000's riots and the Bali bombings, took their toll. But the head of the region’s tourism board, Awan Aswinabawa, told Travel Today that Australian visitor numbers, which totalled roughly 45,000 in 2012, are expected to double next year on the back of the new service. 

Nonetheless Lombok Hotels Association president Stephane Servin is confident the tourist influx will not see the island follow in the footsteps of Bali's bustling tourist scene.

While frequently described as "like Bali thirty years ago", Lombok's contrasts with Bali are its main attraction, according to Servin.

"So we must find solutions to manage the destination so it keeps its authenticity and doesn’t get overcrowded," he said.

The location of Lombok's international airport, opened in 2011, plays a key role in ensuring an even spread of tourism around the island rather than creating a Kuta-like hub.

“In Bali, if you drive one hour from the international airport, you can access 3% of the island,” he said. “But in Lombok, the airport is more central. Within one hour of the airport you can access 75% of the island of Lombok which means tourism is already spreading out, whereas in Bali everything is concentrated in one area.”

The local government is also very concerned with the protection of local culture and avoiding the overdevelopment of the island as seen in Bali, where the market is flooded by an excess of accommodation which cannot be filled by the number of air services coming in.

“The local government in Lombok is saying this is what you need to avoid,” Servin said. “Nothing else is more important than to avoid what Bali is going through now.”

While he also expressed hopes that the number of air services arriving in the island would rise, he underlined the need for a sustainable approach.

There are currently around 8,500 rooms available in Lombok ranging from beach huts to luxury hotels, with a further 200 rooms currently under construction. Another four resorts are in the final phase of planning for 2014.

“For us, that’s sustainable growth in inventory. We can guarantee the airlines coming in that their passengers that want to come will get a room,” Servin said.

As the airlines fill more aircraft and consider increasing services, the destination can then look at additional accommodation investments with all sectors working together in “partnership”.

Instead of looking to Bali for guidance on how to develop tourism, the island is instead looking to Singapore, he revealed.

“Singapore has started a habit of creating a new attraction every two years in order to maintain interest in the destination – this is what we need to do.”



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Comments are closed.

Aviation

End of an era: Ryanair to axe €10 flights

You can no longer snag flights around Europe for the same price as an alright bottle of wine, causing us to question our financial decisions.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Become a USA expert and win cash prizes with Brand USA’s Discovery Program

Brand USA is giving agents the opportunity to become a USA expert plus the chance to win some amazing cash prizes throughout August and October.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruising returns to New Zealand after nearly three years

NZ’s cruise industry collectively shouted “Yipee” when Pacific Explorer arrived, then looked around in confusion as they realised that was a bit weird.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Myconian Collection welcomes back destination weddings and honeymoons

What’s better than a celebration of love? A celebration of love overseas of course, and it’s back on the rise!

Share

CommentComments

News

Tahiti drops remaining travel restrictions

Tahiti is having a Blast from the Past moment. And by that, we mean the island is reminding us what it was like to travel in 2019.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travellers no longer need to register trips on Smartraveller; here’s what to do instead

There’s one less thing you have to remind your clients to do before they travel, and one thing to add. So, a pleasing equilibrium if you ask us.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“Everyone was calm but that’s starting to change”: Gunshots shut down Canberra Airport

Travellers took to Twitter on Sunday to complain about waiting outside in the cold while police apprehended a man for firing shots inside the airport. We’re not saying they’re missing the big picture, but…

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

How your clients can experience the wilds of Africa in true luxury

When it comes to bucket list experiences, few compare to an African safari, and no brand provides a more protected and luxurious safari than Abercrombie & Kent.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Tiny Away opens up mini Tassie getaways

Tiny Away has opened the doors to its first Tasmanian tiny houses, growing its network of rural getaways. The ‘Quirindi’ […]

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Colorado Tourism Office say G’day to the industry

The Colorado Tourism Office joined media and travel titans last Friday at Bentley’s in the Sydney CBD to reconnect with the Aussie travel industry.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Bonza calls on Aussies to name its first plane

Some of the names suggested so far include Purple Rippa, Bonza Bruce, and Kimbo. We challenge you to come up with something more Aussie sounding than that!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas increases international connection time to reduce mishandled baggage

The upside of all these missing bags is that you no longer have to sprint through the airport to catch your connecting flight. Although we’ll miss the rush.

Share

CommentComments