The Lombok Project

Lombok has always lagged behind Bali in regards to tourism. These days, Lombok is used as a stepping stone to the nearby Gili Islands. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing to do in the island. To the contrary, Lombok is an island of stunning palm-fringed, white sand beaches, and the interior of the island has majestic panoramas overlooked by Gunung Rinjani. Add to that the mystical Sasak culture and you have a perfect island holiday. There are a multitude of five star resorts and a variety of other accommodation to suit all budgets.

New Lombok International Airport (LIA) will be completed in October 2009, and A Middle-East consortium, Emaar Group, is getting a lot of support from the Indonesian government over the future plans for the development there, where $600 million will be spent to develop an integrated resort in the south tip of Lombok Island.

The Lombok Project will cover an area of 1,175 hectares located on Lombok’s Kuta Beach and consume a stretch of 17 kilometers of beach front. The project will include a marina, luxury private accommodations, and 5-star resorts. The project will be completed sometimes in 2012.

Indonesia Hosts World Ocean Conference 2009

Who is better to lead the initiative to sustainable management of marine resources than a country with a massive portion of ocean itself? Indonesia is proudly hosting the World Ocean Conference 2009 in Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi province, well-known for one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world, Bunaken National Marine Park.

121 countries will attend the summit that is scheduled to last for five days starting May 11, 2009. Despite the WHO raising the status of the swine flu outbreak to Phase V, the World Ocean Conference 2009 is still be held as planned. Pretty confidence, right?

Garuda Indonesia to Europe and the U.S. Again

Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia’s flag carrier, has shown a remarkable performance during the last 3 years, from a debt-ridden company to become the only airline in Southeast Asia to book profits in 2008. I got this from, Garuda Indonesia has confirmed to resume flight to cities in Europe (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Frankfurt), and US (New York, LA, Chicago) starting next year. This year is too risky, not only money crisis, but also swine crisis. But our Garuda is confident it can fly high.

Nihiwatu, One of the World’s Most Responsible Hotels

We’ve seen two of Indonesia’s hotels on the  list of the World’s Best New Hotels. Sure you’ll feel great staying at one of them. Now, what about staying at Nihiwatu in Sumba island, rated as one of the Most Responsible Hotels by Forbes Traveler; it will surely make you feel doubly great.

This is the short excerpt from the article on Forbes Traveler:

Thousands of Sumba islanders have already benefited from various health, education and economic stimulus programs created by the resort’s eclectic Sumba Foundation. Nihiwatu also teaches by example – recycling all of its waste, powering its generators with bio-diesel, rescuing endangered wildlife, and offsetting its own carbon footprint with a plan to plant 160,000 trees over the next seven years.

Nihiwatu, one the leading eco-lodges in the world

World’s Best New Hotels 2009

Indonesia, has long been known to be the host for best hotel on planet earth. Once I watched a television program in the UK that mentioned Amankilla hotel in Bali was included in 10th world’s best hotel. Forbes Traveler has picked 50 new best hotels worldwide, with this stunning result:
- France is home to four of world’s best new hotel
- China hosts three
- Indonesia hosts two, UK hosts two
- Others only got one, each.

The prestigious Conde Nast Traveller “The Hot List 2009” also published the 70 top new hotels operating around the world. Two Indonesian hotels managed to make the “The Hot List 2009″, which happened to be the same hotels as rated by Forbes.

St Regis, Bali

Indonesia’s St Regis Bali, and Hotel Tugu Lombok, have successfully impressed the 400 travel experts. The St Regis has successfully transplanted their famously high level of service from an urban surrounding to a beachside environment, while Hotel Tugu used its owner’s collection of Indonesian antiques to decorate the property, even the guest rooms. It’s a strategy that’s worked for him before, notably at the Tugu Bali, which was among  the Forbes Traveler 400 last year.

Hotel Tugu, Lombok

Australia Travel Warning to Indonesia

Travel Warning: Book Early!

Bucking the current worldwide downturn in travel, Australians continue to flock to Bali seeking value for money. Australian travelers to Bali during the first two months of 2009 totaled 48,068 a 34.64% increase over totals for the same period in 2008 (35,701).According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, overseas travel by Australians has shrunk by 2% since August 2008. Indonesia and Bali, however, have bucked this downward trend with travel booming despite unfavorable travel warnings issued from Department of Foreign Affairs. Underlining the migration of travelers to a destination identified for “value for money,” Australian holidaymakers coming to Indonesia have overtaken figures for those traveling to the U.S.A., Britain and Thailand. Indonesia has become the 2nd most popular holiday destination after New Zealand for Australians traveling abroad.

Quoted in The Age, the Australian marketing coordinator for Garuda Indonesia explained the surge in Bali travel by commenting, “it’s because it’s affordable… many people who might have gone further afield will go to Bali instead.”

The Age article also underlined how Garuda, is adding flights between Australia and Bali while airlines are curtailing service in other areas of the world. That article also reports that bookstores have run out of travel guides to Indonesia, “even though the Government warns us to reconsider your need to travel there.”