Dear Read­ers,

Indonesia Expat - - NEWS -

With all the hol­i­days and off days we’ve had in the past two months, you’ve prob­a­bly packed up your bags for a long weekend and ab­sconded with your friends to one of In­done­sia’s many hid­den tourism gems at one point or an­other.

In the eyes of the rest of the world, tourism in In­done­sia may start and end with Bali. But those of us who live here know bet­ter! I will say it’s an in­ter­est­ing time to be au­dit­ing the ar­chi­pel­ago’s tourism in­dus­try, es­pe­cially with the US$3 bil­lion Man­da­lika re­sort mega-project on Lom­bok am­bi­tiously slated to roll out in­fra­struc­ture such as an elec­tric train, so­lar power plants, wa­ter treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties and freshly paved roads on the is­land.

As part of our “Travel Is­sue,” we've got some great stories for you this time. With Lom­bok tak­ing cen­tre stage, An­gela Jelita is back with some tough love for the is­land’s Mount Rin­jani, fo­cus­ing on how trash is ham­per­ing the moun­tain’s tourism ap­peal in­ter­na­tion­ally. Sharon Ham­bali ex­plores via in­ter­view about how small- and medium-sized busi­nesses can truly cap­i­tal­ize on the na­tion’s grow­ing tourism sec­tor, but she also shares tips for ex­pats who de­cide to ven­ture into the coun­try’s re­mote re­gions. Grace Suse­tyo high­lights some off-the-beaten-path Eastern In­done­sian get­aways, while Ani Suswan­toro pulls back the cur­tain on some of In­done­sia’s old­est texts and what they mean for the lo­cal cul­ture to­day.

Wher­ever your trav­els take you this year, we hope you will con­tinue to help drive In­done­sia’s tourism space for­ward by ed­u­cat­ing those who’ve never been here about all the great places this ar­chi­pel­ago has to of­fer.

HAPPY TRAILS!

Leighton Cosse­boom

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