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Sumba area to shape up following hotel award, politician vows

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, August 9, 2016  /  09:51 am
Sumba area to shape up following hotel award, politician vows

Unlike other luxury resorts, the Nihiwatu Sumba offers a philanthropic experience for those who stay there. The resort was named the world's best hotel in 2016 by Travel+Leisure magazine. (Nihiwatu website/-)

The prestige of a global award bestowed on a hotel in the East Nusa Tenggara regency of West Sumba appears to be reflecting on the wider area.

US magazine Travel+Leisure recently named the Nihiwatu Hotel in Wanokaka the best hotel in the world for 2016.

West Sumba tourism office head Saba Kodi Poro said the spotlight enjoyed by Nihiwatu had a huge impact on the Sumba area and on West Sumba in particular.

“There was a spike in the number of visitors, and this includes businessmen and the press, in the past month, after Nihiwatu was dubbed the best hotel in the world. We haven’t done the recap, but it is estimated that 300 people visited the area last month. Before that, it was only about 50 tourists per month,” Kodi Poro told kompas.com on Sunday.

(Read also: Indonesia, home to 'world's best hotel' of 2016)

The hotel employs 90% local residents and participates in environmental activities to empower its surroundings, such as clean water conservation by planting trees and setting up a malaria clinic. In the future, the hotel, along with the local government, is slated to build a cultural village and tenun ikat (ikat weaving) village as well as breed Sumba horses in the area.

According to East Nusa Tenggara regional representative council member Paul Liyanto, Nihiwatu’s plus point is not its grandeur or luxury but the hotel’s participation in the government’s millennium development goals and its corporate social responsibility activities for the local community.

(Read also: Nihiwatu unveils new tree-house villa)

Liyanto, who also serves as chairman of the trade and industry chamber for East Nusa Tenggara, encouraged the regency administration and council to work toward improving the areas surrounding the hotel, adding that local government regulations would facilitate activities along the Nihiwatu and Sumba coast line.

He also pointed out the necessity of good access from Waikabubak to Nihiwatu. The three-meter-wide access road is seen as too narrow and the asphalt is partly damaged. “The 13 kilometers could be done in 10 to 15 minutes by car, but currently it still takes 50 minutes. This is ineffective,” Liyanto said. (asw)

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