|By Mimi Hudoyo, reporting from ITB Berlin, Germany, March 9, 2012|
|THE tranquil island of Lombok will see its southern area buzzing with a large integrated resort development as early as 2015.The Mandalika Resorts Lombok, which will cover an area of 1,175 hectares, is part of a special economic territory programme established to develop West Nusa Tenggara as a tourism hotspot.The site is geared to become an event-based destination and will be located 15 minutes away from Lombok’s new international airport.
Bali Tourism Development Corp (BTDC), the state-owned company that manages Bali Nusa Dua area, has been appointed developer and manager of the site.
BTDC director of development, Edwin Darmasetiawan, said: “We want the resort to complement Bali instead of competing with it. Therefore, the product will be very different from Nusa Dua in terms of its type of attractions.”
Facilities earmarked for the integrated resort include an F1 race track, an integrated theme park, an underwater marine museum, an eco park, meeting spaces and a concert hall. The developer also plans to invite Disney to “be a part of ” the theme park.
Seventeen major Indonesian companies including Lippo Group, MNC Group, Gobel International and Rajawali Group have signed MoUs with BTDC for various developments.
The BTDC is now finalising the environmental impact analysis, which is expected to be ready by June. The project’s first phase, including road construction, hotel developments and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course, will be completed within three to five years. More hotels and attractions will follow in the second stage.
Panorama Destination managing director, Rocky Praputranto, said: “The development will change Lombok, which is known as a tranquil, laid-back island. Do the people in Lombok, who are more conservative (than the Balinese), want this? Are they ready for the change?
However, Bidy Tour Lombok managing director, Yandianto Hamidy, welcomes the change and believes the destination will draw a wider range of markets in the future.