Date: February 15, 2017
Source: The Jakarta Post
The tourism industry in Lombok is looking forward to 24 cruise ships, bringing thousands of Lombok cruise passengers to Lombok’s Lembar Seaport.
The shipping companies behind the 24 vessels had confirmed the planned stops in Lombok, NTB Tourism Agency head Lalu Muhammad Faozal said, adding that the number marked an increase from 18 layovers last year.
“The passengers will enjoy a one-day trip to a number of destinations in Lombok,” he said on Friday.
Around 50,000 passengers will visit Lombok on the cruise ships, mostly from European countries and Singapore.
The local administration will present special performances for the tourists such as traditional music and dances at the NTB State Museum and the NTB Cultural Park in Mataram.
Baharuddin, the general manager of state owned port operator PT Pelindo III, which operates the Lembar seaport, said three cruise ships had entered the region so far this year.
The latest one, Dutch-flagged Volendam, arrived on Tuesday, carrying 1,968 people, including 596 crew members.
“The ship moored from Tuesday morning until night, so the passengers had time to explore a number of destinations in Lombok,” he said.
The visits would not only boost the local economy but also help promote tourism destinations in Lombok, he added.
At least 15 buses and 25 cars from local travel agencies and transportation companies took tourists to several destinations, like Sekotong, Kuta Central Lombok, Mataram Mall, Senggigi, the Sukarare woven production center, Banyu Mulek and Darmada Park. Some also went by boat to the beautiful islets Gili Nanggu, Gili Kedis and Gili Sudak.
International cruise ships usually pass Komodo Island in East Nusa Tenggara on their way to Lombok and then move on to Bali, before heading back to international waters.
The province has enjoyed increasing hotel occupancy rates in Mataram and West Lombok following a month of intensive tourism promotion under the Lommok Sumbawa Great Sale 2017 camaign.
“Normally, the occupancy rate is 40 to 50 percent. Thanks to the Great Sale event, it increased to 80 to 85 percent,” Mataram Hotel Association (AHM) chairman Ernanda Agung said in a meeting on Friday.
The meeting revealed that the promotion, which lasted from Feb. 1 to 28, also boosted revenue at restaurants and souvenir shops in Lombok by 25 percent.
Lombok City Center Mall general manager Daniel B. Kristiawan said the Great Sale campaign had had a positive impact for vendors at the mall. The event had been of great help to lure visitors during the low season, he added.
The Great Sale, jointly conducted by the NTB Tourism Agency and private tourism organizations in NTB, is part of efforts to boost tourism in the province during the low season in February. It involves 189 business units offering a variety of discounts at hotels, restaurants, souvenir outlets and tourist packages from travel agencies.