The Indonesian island of Lombok is starting 2019 on a positive note with around 90% of tourism operations back in business following a series of devastating earthquakes in August last year.

In the north west of Lombok, the island of Gili Trawangan is leading the recovery, followed by Gili Meno and Gili Air.

That’s the assessment of Khiri Travel Indonesia General Manager, Herman Hoven, who has just inspected Lombok’s tourism destinations.

Lombok-karryon

Image: Mark Thurman;

He said Gili Trawangan was recovering well thanks to its reliance on the backpacker and ‘flashpacker’ markets.

Beaches have been cleared of rubble and streets re-paved.

“It was encouraging to see, probably up to 90% of tourism businesses rebuilt, renovated and open for operations. We’d like to see all the tourism businesses back in demand to speed up economic recovery in the area.”

Khiri Travel Indonesia General Manager, Herman Hoven

According to Herman, tourism businesses in the north are trying to survive with business still at 10-30% of pre-earthquake levels whereas businesses in the south were hardly impacted by the earthquakes and are open as normal.

Lombok-karryon

Image: Mark Thurman

Around Mount Rinjani in the centre-north of the island it was a mixed picture. The summit of the famous mountain, towering 3,726 meters above sea level, remains closed leaving many of the guides and porters out of work.

As a response to the downturn, members of the Rinjani Women’s Guide Association have had to refocus their efforts. They are now more actively promoting trips around the villages and attractions of the Senaru foothills.

To the immediate south of Mt Rinjani, tourism is returning to Tetebatu, an area famed for its traditional weaving and craft villages.

Khiri Travel’s ecotourism trips to the small uninhabited islands on Lombok’s east coast are also operational.

Lombok-karryon

“The people and geography of Lombok are amazing. The islanders deserve more support from the tourism industry,” he said.

Before August 2018, Lombok was among Indonesia’s fastest growing tourism destinations and a rising star in the government’s aim of creating ‘10 new Balis’.

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