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.