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Jakarta Post

Lombok named best halal tourism destination

  • Novani Nugrahani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 22, 2015   /  10:47 am
Lombok named best halal tourism destination Gili Trawangan, Lombok. (thejakartapost.com/Novani Nugrahani) (thejakartapost.com/Novani Nugrahani)

Gili Trawangan, Lombok. (thejakartapost.com/Novani Nugrahani)

Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) has been recognized as the world's best halal tourism and honeymoon destination in a recent event held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

'€œThis is a prestigious award and should be able to sharpen Lombok's positioning as a world-class halal tourism destination especially to grab tourists from Middle Eastern and other Muslim countries,'€ said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya at his office in Jakarta on Wednesday.

According to Arief, the average spending of tourists from UAE and Saudi Arabia was between US$1,500 and $1,700 per person, which was higher than the average spending of other foreign visitors that reached around $1,200 per person.

'€œWe have the opportunity to grab that huge market,'€ added Arief.

NTB Deputy Governor Muhammad Amin said that he was grateful to receive both awards as it came from hard work of stakeholders that have continuously been promoting the region as a halal tourism destination.

Amin added that from a total population of 4.7 million in NTB, 65 percent of the inhabitants resided in Lombok and up to 93 percent of them were Muslim.

'€œI hope these awards can serve as a starting point to seriously develop Lombok as a halal tourism destination,'€ said Amin.

Arief said that in addition to Lombok the ministry currently planned to set up two other provinces as role models for halal tourism destinations, namely Aceh and West Sumatra.

Following the recognition, Arief is targeting to increase the number of international tourist arrivals in Lombok from 2 million to 5 million per year.

'€œAside from managing potential tourism destinations in Lombok, we also need to develop infrastructure and tourist areas such as Mandalika to boost the number [of foreign tourists],'€ said Amin.

The 2015 World Halal Travel Award also announced Hotel Sofyan Betawi in Central Jakarta as the awardee in the best family friendly hotel category.

Indonesia reportedly tightly competed with Malaysia and Turkey to snatch the best halal tourism destination title.

The winners were announced at the Emirates Palace Ballroom in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as part of the 2015 World Halal Travel Summit. (kes)(++++)