Wednesday, December 16, 2015


    Jakarta, Dec 16, 2015 (Antara)- Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province  was adjudged the best halal tourism and honeymoon destination during the World Halal Travel Awards 2015 held in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, in October.
     The event was held in conjunction with the World Halal Travel Summit 2015. 
      Some 65 percent of the 4.7 million population of NTB lives in Lombok and up to 93 percent of them are Muslims.
        "I hope these awards would serve as a starting point to seriously develop Lombok as a halal tourism destination," NTB Deputy Governor Muhammad Amin affirmed.
        The awards have instilled a sense of pride and optimism in the NTB administration to promote its tourism attractions nationally and internationally to lure more domestic and foreign tourists, particularly Muslims, who want to enjoy halal or Shariah tourism.     
   "After we received the best halal tourism 2015 awards in Abu Dhabi, we are optimistic of introducing NTB to countries in the Middle East as the region is one of our targets," NTB Tourism Office Head Lalu Muhammad Faozal stated in Jakarta, on December 14, 2015, after the launch of the tourism brand "The Charm of Lombok Sumbawa."

   Faozal believes that the two World Halal Travel Awards received by Lombok could help promote the tourism attractions in NTB.
      He will also encourage airlines serving the Middle East-Bali routes to make a stopover in NTB.
      Flight connectivity with Middle Eastern countries is crucial to attract Arab tourists.
     "So far, Middle Eastern and European Muslim tourists have visited Indonesia through Jakarta and Bali and then to Lombok. We are optimistic that one day they would arrive directly in Lombok," he noted.
             However, Faozal is optimistic that NTB would be their next destination after the province won the world's best halal tourist destination award and the best halal honeymoon destination.
             He remarked that the target markets are not only Muslim-majority countries but also non-Muslim nations in Europe and America.
             "Muslims in the Middle East and Europe now know Lombok better. They are enthusiastic because apart of Kuala Lumpur, Lombok is also a halal destination," he remarked.
        The NTB tourism office has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PT Accor Asia Pacific (AAPC) Indonesia to organize tourism promotion events in Middle Eastern countries.
        The NTB tourism office has improved facilities and services for Muslim tourists, for instance, by providing halal food and easy access to facilities for Islamic prayers and other activities in accordance with the Islamic laws (Shariah).
        "We are establishing cooperation with the MUI (Indonesian Ulemas Council) to obtain halal certificates, particularly for providing food and services to Muslim tourists," he pointed out.     

     The NTB administration has set a target to attract three million tourists in 2016.    
      "We are optimistic that the target to attract three million tourists in 2016 would be achieved, comprising 50 percent foreign tourists and the rest domestic tourists," Faozal stated.
         NTB attracted 2.25 million tourists in 2012, 2.49 million in 2013, and 2.51 million in 2014.
      "In 2015, we will reach nearly  three million, if possible more than that. We are optimistic," he noted.
      Chairman of the Association of the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) of the NTB chapter Dewantoro Umbu Joka stated that every domestic tourist, on an average, spends Rp5 million in NTB, while each foreign tourist spends Rp8 million while holidaying in the province.
     With the target of attracting three million tourists, NTB is expected to generate Rp750 billion in revenue from tourism.
    The Indonesian government has set a target to annually attract 20 million foreign tourists, and 275 million domestic tourists in the next five years. The country hopes to earn up to Rp240 trillion in foreign exchange and create 13 million jobs in the tourism industry.   
    The tourism sector has employed some 11 million people and contributed foreign exchange worth around US$11 billion in the previous years.
    The government plans to develop 10 main tourist destinations to help boost the country's economic growth, according to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli.
   "We will develop 10 main tourist destinations in Indonesia apart from Bali Island as other regions also hold huge potential," Minister Ramli stated during a Core Economic Outlook discussion.    
    Lombok is one of the 10 main tourist destinations, together with other regions such as Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Flores in East Nusa Tenggara, Raja Ampat in West Papua, Borobudur in Yogyakarta, and Mount Bromo in Central Java.
         Located just east of Bali, Lombok Island has been known as "the unspoiled Bali" for its alluring white sandy beaches, waterfalls, the large looming volcano of Mount Rinjani, and relatively few tourists.

        The Senggigi beach, for instance, offers picturesque views of Mount Agung on Bali Island to the west and stunning sunsets with the volcano silhouetted on the horizon. (frd) 

No comments:

Post a Comment