The Jakarta Post
The diversified Santini Group conglomerate has begun construction of a Luwansa four-star hotel in Manado, North Sulawesi, having invested Rp 200 billion (US$14.2 million) in the project.
The start of construction of the hotel was officiated on Monday by North Sulawesi Deputy Governor Steven Kandouw, Santini Group president director Lukito Wanandi, Santini Group owner Sofjan Wanandi and the speaker of the North Sulawesi Legislative Council, Andrei Angouw.
The Luwansa Hotel is expected to be built within 14 months so that it can open in September next year with 134 bedrooms, a ballroom and seven meeting rooms, among other facilities, said Lukito.
“East Indonesia has tremendous potential. Development must not be centered on Java,” Lukito told reporters on the sidelines of the event on Monday.
Luwansa’s Manado hotel is to be located on 5,000 square meters of land in Pomorouw. Lukito said the hotel is the first commitment Santini Group has made in the city, which is frequented by both foreign and local tourists.
Deputy Governor Steven said the province now sees 150,000 incoming tourists per year, up significantly from previous years when only 10,000 visited, thanks to increased interest by Chinese tourists to visit North Sulawesi.
“Pak [President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo] told us [he learned from] his discussion with China’s President Xi Jinping that Chinese inbound tourists through North Sulawesi will reach 2 million per year,” Steven said. “You can imagine how many more rooms we need here.”