Lombok tourism set to double
With new airlines flying to Lombok, we expect international arrivals to boost Lombok tourism and to spur the development of new resorts. Lombok hotel supply should double to more than 4,500 rooms by 2022 supported by continued strong growth in visitor arrivals.
“World-class beaches, among the very best in Asia!” That was the type of comment coming from everyone around the table… almost 25 years ago! Scattered around the table were pictures of Lombok’s Mawun and Tanjung Aan beaches as well as information on the airport that was going to open “sometime soon”. Of course we were discussing the potential of Lombok to emerge as a strong tourism destination in Indonesia. In that year (1990 ), Bali was experiencing “huge” arrivals of approximately 1.2 million (forty percent of that being international arrivals) so we did the math and with only two international flights a day that would be roughly 100,000 international arrivals per year…not a bad way to kick start an emerging destination.
At that time, how wrong we were…the airport has opened but over 20 years from the latest date we imagined at the time. That is the key to opening up Lombok and specifically its Southern beaches for the world to enjoy.
The market frenzy at the time, following the beat of former Minister of Tourism Joop Ave’s drum, resulted in the development of nearly a third of the Island’s international quality guest rooms between 1989 and 1995.
Well, as they say, you ain’t seen nothing yet. At least in Lombok, we expect to be seeing a new cycle of boom years in hotel development that exceed the last gold rush handily. Developers from Indonesia, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand including others all have been increasingly active in pursuing opportunities the past two years.
While still relatively untouched, Lombok Island has been through significant changes in the last two years that has attracted many investors’ attention. The catalysts are the new airport and the market support (growth in international arrivals is estimated to be over 140 percent from 2012 to 2013) shown for the new routes plus the strong numbers being posted by top tier resorts in Lombok.
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