The Jakarta Post
The state-owned Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) is aiming to secure at least US$65 million in investments to further develop Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara, into a premier tourist destination.
The development of the area in southern Lombok is expected to help boost the number of tourists visiting the country.
'To get 20 million tourists by 2019, we can't just rely on Bali. We have to spread out to other areas that have tourism potential,' said ITDC business and development director Edwin Darmasetiawan, referring to the government's five-year tourism target.
He said the estimated investment amount was based on a master plan created by the ITDC. The area will be developed into an ecotourism destination and will also see the construction of hotels, a marina, golf course, villas and a convention hall in the mid- to long-term plan.
According to Edwin, his agency had cooperated with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to reach potential investors in the Middle East. The IDB had also offered to provide loans for investors to develop various projects in the area.
Edwin said investors would not have to spend money on land procurement as the ITDC already had the right to manage (HPL) more than 1,035 hectares of land, and they would only have to pay for land use.
'It is a very attractive business model. They can also have the HGB [right to build] for 30 years, which can also be extended for another 20 years,' he said.
He said, however, that investors must provide and deliver on a deadline for the development of hotels and other projects.
Mandalika, located in the southern part of Lombok, is a 20-minute drive from Lombok International Airport. It boasts 7.5 kilometers of Indian Ocean beaches that offer diving, snorkeling and fishing sites.
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's administration has picked Mandalika, along with Lake Toba in North Sumatra and Tanjung Lesung in Banten, as a priority destination to be developed this year.
Mandalika recorded 125,307 foreign tourist visits in 2013, according to Tourism Ministry data. However, the future projection is set at 1 million foreign tourist visits a year.
The ITDC, which was first assigned by the government to develop the area in 2008, also plans to spur the interest of investors by breaking ground on a Pullman Hotel, which will be operated by France-based hotel operator Accor, on Dec. 12.
Edwin said the hotel would get a special tax and non-tax facility from the government as part of the sixth economic package issued recently as an incentive for special economic zones.
The hotel, to be built by the ITDC with an estimated investment of Rp 400 billion (US$29 million), will be one of two hotels to be developed by next year.
The other hotel, which will be operated by France-based Club Med, will kick off construction in the fourth quarter of 2016 and is slated to operate by mid-2019.
'These are all just for breaking the ice. Investors want to build things here but nobody wants to start,' Edwin said.
He added that the hotels would comply with certain environmental standards, such as energy saving, in line with the concept of the area.
The area will be powered with hybrid solar cells, a plan that is currently under discussion with state-owned electricity firm PLN and state oil and gas firm Pertamina.
Organic farming will also be developed nearby, and buildings will take up only 35 percent of the total area, allowing plentiful open space.
'That way tourists would spend more money there,' Edwin said.
To support the development, the ITDC is also tasked with developing basic infrastructure in the area such as roads, water supply and electricity, which would take up at least Rp 2.1 trillion.
So far, it has built 4 kilometers of roads in the Tanjung Aan area, as the first phase of development. (fsu)
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