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FRIDAY, December 09, 2022
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Indonesia's Lombok Island heats up to accommodate more tourists for MotoGP race

Indonesia's Lombok Island heats up to accommodate more tourists for MotoGP race

MONDAY, February 14, 2022

Indonesia's tourism authorities have estimated that the MotoGP race would bring at least 64,000 visitors to the island as seen from the number of tickets that have been sold. The Southeast Asian country expects the event to help boost its economic recovery.

Andri Deya, 44, one of the homestay owners in Lombok Island, Indonesia's West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province, is seeking more houses near the Mandalika International Circuit for his business.

His own homestays and villas, about 10 minutes' drive from the circuit, have been fully booked for March, and are ready to welcome tourists coming for the 2022 Indonesian Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP).

Mandalika, a special economic zone in the southern part of Lombok, will host the highly-anticipated international race from March 18 to March 22. The 2.68-mile (about 4.3 km) circuit features 17 corners that showcase various Mandalika tourism spots.

"I work together with my colleague, who also runs a homestay business, to search for more empty houses. We'll open them for rent as tourism accommodation. But first, we have to ensure that the houses are qualified enough," Deya told Xinhua by phone on Saturday.

Landscape of Mandalika beach is seen from the hill at Mandalika of Lombok island in Indonesia, Nov. 22, 2021. (Xinhua/Veri Sanovri)

Indonesia's tourism authorities have estimated that the MotoGP race would bring at least 64,000 visitors to the island as seen from the number of tickets that have been sold. The Southeast Asian country expects the event to help boost its economic recovery.

Unfortunately, the total hotel rooms, homestays and villas on the island are only available to accommodate around 24,000 people, according to the latest data from the NTB Tourism Agency.

Therefore, the authorities are currently trying to increase accommodation capacity, including preparing more homestays and glamping sites as alternatives.

Glamping is short for "glamorous camping," a style of camping that involves staying in small, self-contained accommodation with a bed and cooking facilities.

Indonesia's Minister of State Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir told reporters in Jakarta on Friday that the government has targeted preparing 100,000 units of homestays, including empty private houses belonging to residents to cover the shortage.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said that glamping sites, capsule hotels and camper vans could also be alternative places to stay.

"We have a number of glamping sites near Mandalika that will bring much excitement. So besides watching the MotoGP, the tourists can also enjoy the beauty of Lombok's nature and experience its cultures," Uno said in a virtual press conference on Friday, right after he paid a visit to the circuit to see the final pre-season test of the MotoGP race.

Glamping resort owner Stella has just finished the renovation of her resort located around 30 minutes by car to the circuit. She told Xinhua that the glamping site "needed a bit makeover" to comfort the tourists.

All of her 13 glamping tents have been fully booked for the entire March, the highest achievement the resort has ever recorded since Stella and her family started the business in 2014.

Tourist enjoy the view at Mandalika beach of Lombok island in Indonesia on Nov. 22, 2021. (Xinhua/Veri Sanovri)

"This is the first time for my resort to be fully-booked for an entire month, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. I even have recruited several temporary staff to help me handle the peak days," Stella said.

In addition, Indonesia's Ministry of Transportation is preparing nearly 700 pinisi ships -- iconic Indonesian traditional boats made of wood originating from Indonesia's South Sulawesi province -- and a number of cruises as additional accommodations.

Uno said that the number of accommodations would keep increasing and would be enough to reach the government's target of providing at least 100,000 available rooms for the tourists.

"We're still coordinating with the NTB regional authorities for any other available options, including mapping the locations of tourism villages. We're sure that we'll have enough accommodations for all tourists coming here," Uno said. 

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