The Jakarta Post
Surfboard rentals and schools are scattered along Selong Belanak Beach in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), which is just a 30-minute drive from Lombok’s tourist hub of Kuta. A sharp decline in tourist arrivals has prompted the Indonesia Tour and Travel Agency Association (ASITA) to declare NTB safe for visitors. (-/Vyara Wurjanta)
The Indonesia Tour and Travel Agency Association (ASITA) has ensured the public that Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), is safe to visit after a series of earthquakes caused a sharp decline in tourist arrivals.
The most recent data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) shows that international tourist visits to NTB in January and February had decreased 38.14 percent from the same period last year.
According to Dewantoro Umbu Joka, head of ASITA’s NTB branch, a similar decline occurred with domestic tourists.
“International tourists are still wondering whether Lombok is safe to visit. It’s not easy to persuade people to come here,” he said as quoted by KompasTravel on Monday.
Dewantoro also asked the government to reduce the fare for domestic flights so that local tourists would pick Lombok as their holiday destination.
Separately, ASITA’s NTB spokesman, Supratman Samsi, said the association fully acknowledged the declining number of visitors to Lombok.
“It’s a written fact that we cannot deny. This decline is due to the low season as well as the after effects of the earthquakes,” Supratman said.
He added that the rising cost of domestic flights had also contributed to the declining number of domestic visitors.
“We are expecting domestic tourists to come, but at the same time, ticket prices are increasing; it will be more difficult for them to purchase plane tickets,” he said. (dpk/mut)