Despite infrastructure issues, Nihi Sumba Island named world’s best hotel
The Jakarta Post
Nihi Sumba Island (formerly Nihiwatu) resort in West Sumba regency, East Nusa Tenggara, was named the 2017 World’s Best Hotel by Travel+Leisure magazine readers. Announced on Tuesday, the luxury property has won the award for two consecutive years.
In the annual reader survey, properties around the world were rated on their facilities, location, service, food and overall value.
During a press conference, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that Nihi Sumba Island won the award likely because of its overall value as the property helped to develop the local community and environment through its eco-friendly concept.
“Nihi Sumba Island could be considered [an example of] sustainable tourism development,” Arief said.
West Sumba Development Planning Board (Bappeda) head Aloysius Seran expressed appreciation for the award, saying it helped to introduce travelers to West Sumba regency. He said that, previously, the island was frequently mistaken for Sumbawa.
However, Aloysius also addressed that the area needed to be developed, particularly in infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, clean water and electricity.
“[State-owned electricity firm] PLN only supplied electricity to Nihi Sumba Island at certain hours,” he said, noting that the luxury property relied on an electric generator.
Meanwhile, Nihi Sumba Island managing partner James McBride said he wanted to see more direct flights to Sumba Island.
“Currently, other than [travelers] coming from Singapore, travelers need to spend the night in Bali [before heading to Sumba Island],” he said. (kes)
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