A New Lombok in the Making
In the previous year, there were several official reports on how the Indonesian government was planning to duplicate the tourism success in Bali in other small places across the country. One of the identified places for this project was Mandalika on Lombok Island.
In order to put this effort into fast drive, the government also introduced a visa-free tourism policy which covered inbound travelers coming from more than a 100 different countries. Clearance approval was also eliminated for yachts entering the Indonesian territory and the cabotage policy was deregulated for international cruise ships.
Slowly and steadily, Lombok, located in West Nusa Tenggara, has grown to become extremely popular with international students, suggests a Central Statistics Agency (BPS) report. Over 73,000 foreign tourists traveled to Indonesia in March 2016 indicating an increase of 22.52 percent when compared to the travel statistics from March 2015.
The Green Future
In 2016, a government-owned organization took on the responsibility to develop tourism in the beautiful Indonesian location Mandalika, located in Lombok. The project included the building of infrastructure including solar power plants, water treatment facilities and roads.
Under ITDC’s masterplan, the solar power plant will utilize the land under the solar panels as a greenhouse to grow crops organically. The company will develop the solar power plant in stages and targets it to reach full capacity by 2019.
To support the vision of the Mandalika development, an internal transportation system is to be designed in synergy with the concept. The electric train will be the alternative for an eco-friendly transportation solution. Embracing the natural setting, there will be a cable car for public recreational transport.
Solar cell energy and hybrid technology usage are in the plans. The power plant, which occupies up to 50ha of land, will help supply half of the resort’s power demand, projected to reach 110 megawatts by 2025. However, the 1st phase construction period will be 6-9 months.
Development of Hotels in Mandalika
Talking about development plans in Mandalika, Edwin Darmasetiawan, from Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), was reported saying that the company had also begun constructing the Mandalika Grand Mosque so that KEK Mandalika could also welcome Muslims.
Edwin was reported saying that almost 1,500 hotel room might become operational by 2018 under the Mandalika project. The hotel rooms will be provided by numerous hotels including Club Med, Pullman, Marriott by EBD Bauer and Tulip (Lee Group).
Increased Opportunities for Lombok Investment
According to ITDC, the development of hotels is critical for building Mandalika Resort, which is on its last development stage. Mandalika Resort will offer around 10, 533 rooms to its guests. ITDC’s vision is to create a sophisticated tourist destination and therefore Mandalika would be home to several large hotels with popular brand names. This is sure to make Lombok a lucrative investment destination among investors from diverse backgrounds.
The natural beauty of Mandalika and the availability of boutique resorts will make for the perfect retreat for tourists. The primary focus for hotel development at Mandalika Resort is 4-star and 5-star hotels. At the same time, 3-star and other types of hotels will also be developed under the Mandalika project so as to expand the potential customer base to include those looking for more pocket-friendly Indonesia investment options.
This article was first published in Indonesia Expat on 6 April 2017
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