Indonesia Named Top Diving Destination

Scuba Divers Find Paradise In Indonesia

Indonesia has been awarded as The Most Beautiful Diving Destination 2016 during Diving and Resort Travel Expo 2016 (DRT) held Taipei, Taiwan, on June 17-19.

“We had closely observed Indonesia for this award. We went directly to Indonesia. We dived, we witnessed the beauty of Indonesia. We made coordination with our team in Indonesia. And finally, we decided that Indonesia deserves this award,” said Jason Chong, Chairman of the DRT Organizing Committee.

Indonesia sailing

Indonesia has more than 700 scuba diving and snorkeling spots which are extraordinarily beautiful, according to Jemadu. The dive spots include Sonegat, Keraka, Syahrir Batu Kapal, Hatta, and Ai island. 

Similar spots are also found in Bunaken and Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi Province, in Wakatobi Marine National Park in Southeast Sulawesi, and on Weh Island in Aceh Province. Labuan Bajo, Komodo, Rinca, Cenderawasih Bay and Raja Empat (not Ampat) also are known for amazing scuba diving and snorkeling locations.

scuba diving Indonesia

Indonesia’s 17,500 islands compose the largest and most varied archipelago on earth and span more than 3,100 miles from Asia to Australia. The country is more than 80 percent water, which includes more than 80,000 kilometers of coastline—equal to nearly one-third of the earth’s circumference. This vast coastline offers more coral reefs than any other place in the world.

Indonesia lies in the middle of the Indo-Pacific basin. This region extends from the Indian Ocean waters off East Africa all the way to the Hawaiian and Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. The trench is a term used to describe the seam of two tectonic plates deep under the oceans in the area. An upheaval along this trench caused the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the deadly tsunami that killed thousands of people throughout the region, on December 26, 2004.

More than 3500 marine species live in Indonesian waters. From pygmy seahorses and schooling hammerhead sharks to manta rays and sunfish, the marine animals are spectacular. Octopus, moray eels, cuttlefish, turtles, sharks, jackfish, dolphins, emperor angelfish, groupers, goatfish, sweetlips, frogfish, pipefish, lionfish, scorpion fish and leaf fish abound. Invertebrates also flourish here. Divers can check out sea fans, sponges, soft corals, feather stars hard corals, hydroids, whip corals and colorful nudibranchs.

“There are no other scuba diving destinations comparable to Indonesia. Our nature attractions are unbeatable,” he said.

Indonesia scuba diving

Seven of the 10 priority tourist destinations being developed and promoted by the Indonesian government are maritime tourist resorts comprising coastal, underwater and sea zones. He said his ministry will continue to boost the promotion of marine tourism.

Indonesia Tourism News via http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/105294/indonesia-awarded-as-most-beautiful-diving-destination-2016-in-taiwan

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Indonesia travel book

Indonesia’s Indigenous Communities Embrace Ecotourism

Green Indonesia Helping Save Rain Forests

Six indigenous communities have launched an ecotourism initiative that would show off their ancestral forests. They hope to develop alternate economic models that local governments in Indonesia could embrace, other than extractive industries such as mining and palm oil plantations. The initiative, called GreenIndonesia, would ultimately help the communities secure the rights to their own lands, an elusive goal that they have long pursued.

Sumatra tiger conservation

Indonesia has the third largest area of rainforest in the world, and the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who live in and depend on these forests play an important role in conserving them. With global climate change challenges looming—deforestation is the leading source of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions—the fourth most populous country in the world is searching for a green economic pathway to lift people out of poverty.

GreenIndonesia sees significant potential in community based eco-culture tourism—one recent study found that for 26 percent of the traveling population, sustainability and responsibility play a big part in their decision making.

muck diving Sulawesi

Indonesia is blessed with a more than 400 ethnic groups who inhabit the largest archipelago in the world, over 17,000 islands. The six partner communities of GreenIndonesia are:

  • The Sui Utik Indigenous Forest in West Kalimantan;
  • The Mollo Sacred Lands in Nausus, Timor Tengah Selatan;
  • The Paluanda Lama Hamu cloth weavers, in East Sumba;
  • The Guguk Indigenous Forest in Jambi, Sumatra;
  • The Sawai community in Seram Island, Maluku; and
  • The Jatiluwih community in Tabanan, Bali.

Through GreenIndonesia, women weavers from all over Indonesia connect, share knowledge, and keep their traditions alive. The communities work with many local plants to create unique colors and pay close attention to maintaining the environment where the vegetation grows.

The Sawai community, on the island of Seram, Maluku, have transformed themselves over the last decade from poaching endangered birds for illegal wildlife traders to sustainable forest managers of one of the best birdwatching havens in Eastern Indonesia. Other partners also have inspiring successes. The Guguk Ancestral Forest community, for example, has kept logging and palm oil expansion in their territory at bay. Their forests provide a sanctuary for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, whose population has dwindled to about 250.

The communities hope to show that resilient and green economic development is possible when local community land rights and the integrity of natural ecosystems are equally protected. The national government has been supportive, endorsing the initiative and sponsoring a booth at Norway’s biggest tourism expo in early January. This support reflects the new government’s focus on addressing climate change and Indigenous community rights in an effective and fair way.

Indonesia Travel News via http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/23/greenindonesia/

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia An Endless Summer For Surfing

Bali, Java and Lombok Good Starting Points For Surfers

Indonesia is ideal for surfing all year round, although the winds and waves shift from season to season. June to August usually produces the largest swells. Some of the best waves are within easy reach off Bali, but other rewarding destinations are found on dozens of islands, including Java, Lombok, and Sumatra. Some of these destinations are extremely remote and require some work.

surf Sumatra

Bali was the first place to feel Indonesia’s international surfing craze. Now, avid surfers trek to Nias island, East and West Java, Sumba, and Sumbawa, just to name a few of the top surfing destinations. The waters around Sulawesi and Kalimantan are sheltered from the swells and are better for underwater pleasures.

Ocean swells are generated from the poles and Indonesia is the first land to break the waves from the South Pole. For this reason, some of the best waves in the world pound the southern shores of Indonesia. Waves in excess of 10 feet are common in places like Ulu Watu off Bali or G-land off Java. Some areas are cursed with strong shore-hugging currents, which are challenging for beginners and swimmers.

Water temperatures are in the mid 70s, but a vest or spring suit can come in handy on windy days. The sun is very strong this close to the equator so lots of protection and rash guards are recommended.

Surfers may have to pay a surfboard tax upon arrival. It is arbitrarily applied, but a reality nonetheless. Surfing supplies are available on Bali and surf tours can be arranged through local travel agencies.

Kuta Beach Bali

Surf Bali

Not only does Bali have some of the best waves in Indonesia, it also is one of the most interesting islands in Indonesia. Bali is probably the only place in this country where visitors can easily navigate around the island without knowing a word of Indonesian.

Bali still lies at the heart of the Indonesian surf experience and is a mandatory stop for first-time visitors. Bali offers 30 top-quality breaks on the southwest and southeast coasts of the island and around the Bukit Peninsula. Some of these breaks, such as Padang Padang and Ulu Watu, are world-class, barreling, reef breaks. Others range from good fun, like the beach-breaks around Kuta and Sanur, to seriously challenging bowl opportunities.

The surf in Bali is usually modest in size—most often in the two-six foot range. However, larger waves do occur on some of the exposed reefs. Due to its 180-degree exposure to swells, surfers can always find a manageable surf break on Bali. Because Bali has surf breaks both on its west-facing and east-facing coasts, it is always offshore somewhere on the island on any given day. Given the number of breaks and the quality and consistency of the waves, it is possible to find great surf with small to moderate crowds.

With its greater share of the tourist traffic, especially from Australia, the needs of sporting tourists are more obviously catered to in Bali than elsewhere in Indonesia. Good places for surfing in the west monsoon (October to March) are Nusa Dua and Sanur. Between April and September, Kuta Beach usually offers better waves than Sanur. Advanced and serious surfers find Ulu Watu a worthy challenge and a rewarding experience.

Indonesia tourism information

Surf Java

The best surfing on Java is on both the western and eastern tips of the island. The central coast is beautiful, but sadly lacking in quality surf.

Grajagan, East Java: This spot is known as “The Legend” or “G-Land,” which tells you it is special. Located at Plengkung Bay, on the southernmost peninsula of Java, is the renowned Grajagan. “G-Land” was discovered in the 70s by a couple of intrepid surfers on a flight between Jakarta and Bali. The long lines of surf were unmistakable perfection and the discovery that followed is now regarded as the world’s best left-hand breaks. The movie All Down the Line exposed this area to the surfing world. The Quiksilver Pro surfing competition is now an annual event at G-Land. This area is one of the most popular surfing attractions in all of Indonesia. The waves break over a shallow reef and provide a tough test for even the best. For goofy‑foot surfers, this is said to be one of the best waves in the world.

G-Land draws surfers from all over the world. They flock to the Javanese jungle each year between March and November, when the swell is generally constant and flat spells are rare. According to experts, it has the longest and fastest left‑hand tube known. The waves here swell up to 12 feet (4 meters), but one slip can be disastrous and medical help is hours away.

The western beaches of the Blambangan Peninsula, Java’s easternmost extension, also has attracts surfers. The whole peninsula is a nature reserve with sea turtles nesting on the beaches and good waves. Most surfers reach it by boat from Bali.

Batu Keras: A good place for beginners, but still satisfactory for the more advanced is the beach near Batu Keras, west of the local resort of Pangandaran. Small but steady right-handers roll in over a sandy bottom. Boogie boards are fun here, too. Avoid the bay between Batu Keras and the Pangandaran Peninsula, as strong currents run parallel to the shore except in the sheltered cove near the reserve itself. Batu Keras is about an hour’s drive west of Pangandaran village, where there is ample accommodation.

Pelabuhan Ratu: Another area becoming increasingly popular with surfers is at Pelabuhan Ratu, a three-hour drive from either Jakarta or Bandung, situated on Java’s southern coast. A few miles from this fisherman’s port going west on a scenic coastal road, there are adequate facilities. But the best place to go to is beyond the 4-star Samudra Beach Hotel, towards the village of Cisolok where beach surroundings are lovely, distinctly tropical, and where the ocean is at its best.

Uluwatu Bali

Surf Lombok

Lombok is a good alternative for those looking for nice, quiet beaches and surfing. The best waves on Lombok are found at Desert Point, on the southwest tip. This area can rival Grajagan or Ulu Watu. It offers long rides, with perfect tubes rolling over shallow coral reefs.

Desert Point: This remote spot is widely regarded as one of the best and heaviest left-hand barrels in the world. Desert Point is notoriously fickle, though. It lies in a remote mountainous region on the southwest coast of Lombok and is best accessed by boat. Lombok is for those surfers seeking a greater variety of setups, including rights, point breaks, beginner, and intermediate level waves.

During the dry season (May – October), the trade winds blow from the southeast, which provide offshore winds for Desert Point as well as many of the left-hand waves on the island. Alternately, the winds in the wet season (November – April), blow from the southwest, which results in more right-hand breaks.

The main surf center of Lombok is Kuta Beach, which is located on the eastern side of the southern coast. Many good hotels are nearby, including the three-star Kuta Inda to the luxurious five-star Novotel Coralia. They feature guide services to help you find the best waves at the right times (except for Desert Point which is more easily accessed by surf charter boat, usually en route to Sumbawa). From there, most surf breaks are within an hour’s drive. Desert Point, however, is a half-day away from Kuta Beach.

Lombok is best accessed from Bali by ferry, which takes about 2 hours. Ferry cost is minimal, but they do charge extra to transport surfboards. The Mabua Express is a high-speed passenger ferry with comfortable seating and even a movie for the ride over. From the port at Lembar, land transfers are available to Desert Point or Kuta Beach. Another option is flying to Mataram, the largest city on Lombok, from Bali or Singapore.

Surf Sumbawa

This island has some of the most perfect waves in Indonesia, but you must speak some Indonesian to find your way around. This island, much like neighboring Lombok, is much drier than Bali and other parts of Indonesia. The land is mostly barren with many steep cliffs dropping straight into the sea. The two main surfing areas are West Sumbawa and the Lakey area.

West Sumbawa: This area is mostly made up of hollow left-hand breaks that are best accessed by boat charter. The charters will pull up and anchor at the best breaks for easy access to the surf.

Lakey: During the dry season (May – October), the trade winds blow from the southeast offering offshore winds to the lefts of west Sumbawa. Alternately, the winds in the wet season (November – April), blow from the southwest which results in more right breaks. Water temperatures are in the mid 70s, but a vest or spring suit can help on windy days.

Some hotels and surf camps are located right in front of the main breaks of Lakey Peak and Lakey Pipe, with other waves within walking distance. Most waves are a long paddle or walk across the reef depending on the tide. Reef boots are recommended.

Travelers can access Sumbawa from Bali by air or sea. It takes about seven hours by the fast ferry. There also is a surfboard tax of 15,000 rupiah for each board bag. Merpati Airlines operates daily flights from Bali to Bima, Sumbawa. Most of these planes can take surfboards. Upon arrival in Bima, it’s approximately 2.5 hours to Lakey Peak by overland transfer. West Sumbawa is best accessed by surf charter boat. Charters typically depart Bali for a minimum of seven nights.

Surf Sumatra

North Sumatra is one of Indonesia’s last surfing frontiers. It consists of several small islands, including the Hinako Islands, Nias, Telos, and two other island groups to the north. North Sumatra enjoys its best surfing season from May to September. Despite Indonesia’s reputation for hollow left-hand breaks, in North Sumatra, right-handers are more common. While Lagundri Bay at Nias has been surfed for decades, it is the more obscure rights like Bawa (a right-hand bowl with 15-footers or more) and Treasure Island (a long, hollow, mechanical right-hander that rolls for 200 meters) that have attracted the attention recently.

Nias Island: The professional surfing tour came here in 1994. Nias is home to waves with a right‑hand break, in a region where they are rare. The waves at Nias are fickle and you may need plenty of time to catch them at their best. About 125 kilometers off the western coast of Sumatra, Nias was barely known until a television commercial exposed its charms to Australians.

The best time of year to venture here is between June and October. Nias has one of the best right-handers in Indonesia. It is situated at the western end of Lagundri Bay and pumps out 15-foot waves regularly. It also produces hollow, deep waves. Accommodations in the area are basic and affordable. Daily flights are available from Medan and daily ferries are available from Sibolga.

Mentawai: The Mentawai Islands are about 100 kilometers off of the west coast of Sumatra. They consist of four main islands with many smaller islands scattered throughout. From north to south, the main islands are Siberut, Sipora, North Pagi, and South Pagi. These islands block most swells from reaching the mainland on Sumatra, but they offer some of the most perfect surf in the world. Access to the islands is by sea only with regular ferries to the main trading ports. The best way to access the surf is by charter boat.

The best time for surfers to visit is between May and November. Ferries can be accessed in Padang and organized tours can be arranged from there as well. Independent travelers must speak some basic Indonesian.

Asu: This island offers world-class left-hand waves, while its neighboring island of Bawa features classic right-handers. Located in the Hinako group of islands, west of Nias.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Australian Tourists Now Enter Indonesia Free

Australians Granted Free Entry to Indonesia For 30 Days 

Aussies will no longer have to pay for a visa on arrival in Indonesia. Late last week President Joko Widodo​ signed a decree waiving the $35 visa requirements for another 79 countries, including Australia, bringing the list of visa-free countries to 169.

“Indonesia’s decision to add Australia to the list of countries visa-free is smart and timely,” ambassador Paul Grigson said. “We expect it to add approximately 3.4 trillion Rupiah ($239 million) into the economy of Indonesia.”

Bali monkey dance

More than 1 million Australians already visit Indonesia every year, contributing 18 trillion rupiah ($1.8 billion) to the local economy. The visa-free policy is part of a plan to lure more visitors to Indonesia, as the government aims to attract at least 20 million foreign tourists to the country over the next five years.

Australians who wish to stay in Indonesia for longer than 30 days or to conduct “journalistic activities” are still required to apply for a visa in Australia.

Indonesia recorded a 19 percent increase in tourists from countries that received visa-free access in 2015.

In March last year, amid tension between the countries over the execution of Bali nine heroin smugglers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, Indonesia removed Australia from a group of 45 countries whose tourist visa fees would be waived, blaming a lack of reciprocal arrangements.

In September, the Indonesian tourism minister again promised Australians would be granted visa-free access, before leaving them out of the policy that began on October 1.

In November the Australian government said it would introduce an option of a three-year, multiple-entry visa for Indonesian visitors to Australia in 2016 – an extension of the current one-year visa.

Mt. Merapi Java Indonesia

The government would also expand online visa lodgement to all Indonesian citizens by 2017, making the process of applying for an Australian visa simpler for Indonesian tourists and business people.

But Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor said it was astonishing that while Australians would enjoy visa-free entry to Indonesia, the Australian government would still demand Indonesians pay $130 per person just to apply for a tourist visa.

“Then add to that we tell Indonesians to complete some 15 pages of questions per person,” he said. “And we wonder why so many Indonesians choose to travel elsewhere on holidays.”

Kuta Beach Bali

Indonesian Tourism News via: http://www.smh.com.au/world/australian-tourists-finally-granted-free-entry-to-indonesia-20160322-gnovx3.html#ixzz43kzYuC4D

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Falls Short Of Tourism Target

Jakarta Terrorist Attack Takes Toll On Tourism 

Indonesia missed its target to attract at least 10 million foreign tourists in 2015 despite various promotion attempts, according to the Central Statistics Agency. Indonesia attracted 9.73 million tourists last year, in comparison to 9.44 million tourists in 2014.

Indonesia tourism

The report also showed that there were 913,828 foreigners who visited Indonesia in December, up from 777,976 visitors in November, but the number slipped from 915,334 visitors in December 2014.

Despite the setback, Indonesia aims to attract at least 12 million tourists this year and generate foreign exchange equivalent to Rp 172 trillion ($12.61 billion). Arief also said that the tourism sector must contribute at least five percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and contribute to the creation of 11.7 million jobs. Indonesia’s tourism sector contributes just four percent to the GDP now.

Indonesian language and words

“We should build a spirit that Indonesian tourism can beat Malaysia or Thailand. Tourism must become the main foreign exchange generator for Indonesia,” Arief said.

According to the minister, Indonesia will adopt a so-called “single destination, single management” concept this year to develop 10 priority tourist destinations including Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara, Labuan Bajo in Nusa Tenggara, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park in East Java, Thousand Islands north of Jakarta, Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Wakatobi National Park in Southeast Sulawesi, Tanjung Lesung in Banten, Morotai Island north of Halmahera and Tanjung Kelayang in Belitung.

The concept — which according to the tourism minister has been widely adopted as an international technique to promote tourism  — allows for a specified authority to run and manage various tourist spots.

orangutan Camp Leakey

Indonesia faces a drop in tourist numbers, following the recent terrorist attack in central Jakarta. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy is now growing at its slowest pace since the financial crisis.

An Indonesian and a Canadian were killed, along with five attackers, while 20 people, including a Dutchman, were wounded. Two of the militants were taken alive. The attack could frustrate Indonesia’s ambitions to nearly double tourist arrivals to 20 million people by 2019. Some travel agents said they received calls from worried tourists, but they predicted that the effects of the attack would be short-lived.

Way Kambas Sumatran elephants

“This incident will definitely have an impact on travel to Indonesia, especially to Jakarta,” said Terence Cheong, director of Orient Travel and Tours, a travel agency based in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesia Tourism Trends via http://www.jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/business/indonesia-misses-target-10m-foreign-tourists-2015/

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Promoting Marine Destinations

Tourism Plan Showcases Diving, Surfing, Wildlife

Indonesia hopes to double the number of tourists that visit from other nations by 2019. This year, the island nation will launch an initiative to upgrade several tourist destinations around the archipelago in a bid to lure tourists to destinations other than Bali.

scuba diving Indonesia

Top New Tourist Destinations Include

  • Lake Toba (North Sumatra),
  • Tanjung Kelayang (Belitung),
  • Tanjung Lesung (Banten),
  • the Thousand Islands (Jakarta),
  • Borobudur Temple (Magelang),
  • Mount Bromo (East Java), Mandalika (South Lombok),
  • Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara),
  • Wakatobi (Southeast Sulawesi), and
  • Morotai (North Maluku).

Komodo island Indonesia

Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism has added Komodo Island as one of the major marine tourist destinations in the island nation. Other primary destinations in the list are:

  • Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi,
  • Derawan in East Kalimantan,
  • Raja Empat in Papua,
  • Nias in North Sumatra,
  • Mentawai in West Sumatra,
  • Ujung Kulon in West Java,
  • Anak Krakatau in Sunda Strait,
  • Tomini in Central Sulawesi, and
  • Bali West Nusa Tenggara
  • Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.

Indonesia tourism

“The islands are the foundation of the blueprint for marine tourism development as we promote Indonesia,” Welly Rame Rohimone, acting head of the provincial tourism and creative economy office, said.

Komodo Island, the natural habitat of the Komodo dragon (Varanus kommodoensis), has been selected as one of the new seven Wonders of Nature. The tourist area is ideal for diving and cruise tourism. The Komodo dragon in Komodo National Park can be found on the islands of Rinca, Padar and Komodo. Komodo Island, with a land area of 390 square kilometers, has a population of over 2,000. The island has a beach with sand that appears pink as it contains a mixture of white sand and red sand, formed from pieces of Foraminifera.

sailing Indonesia

In 2015, Indonesia’s top ten source of tourists were Singapore, China, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Egypt, Britain, India, Germany, and the US. Further promotions will be held in these countries in cooperation with the local government, tourism agencies, airlines, media, Indonesian embassies, and the Indonesian diaspora there.

Indonesia Tourism News via http://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/01/13/199735509/Komodo-Island-Named-Indonesias-Main-Marine-Tourist-Destination

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Racing To Develop Resorts On Lombok

Lombok Expected To Divert Tourists From Bali

The Indonesian government is impatient to see the completion of the Mandalika tourist resort development, which is also being built as a Special Economic Zone (KEK) to drive local economic activities and boost growth.

Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla, when inspecting preparations for the construction of four star-rated hotels in the area Saturday, asked PT Indonesian Tourism Development Corporations (ITDC) management to accelerate the development of Mandalika, which is being groomed as a world class tourist resort and special economic zone in Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province.

Lombok Indonesia snorkeling
The development of the Mandalika Special Economic Zone and Tourist Resort Area should be accelerated so that the local people could soon enjoy its economic benefits and improve their welfare, the Vice President said. The Mandalika KEK project was planned 25 years ago but several constraints had always hampered its realization, he said.

“The constraints included inadequate road infrastructure, the absence of airport, electricity and clean water supplies. But all these have been overcome so there is no reason to slow down the development of Mandalika,” he said.

West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province is expected to have a world-class tourist resort comparable to Bali, when the Mandalika Resort Development project in Central Lombok District is completed.

The development of the US$3 billion Mandalika Resort, which is expected to attract one million tourists annually, began in October 2011. Then President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono inaugurated its groundbreaking. Sitting on a 1,175 hectare area in Kuta, Pujut subdistrict, Central Lombok, the Mandalika Resort will be developed into one of the national tourism destinations.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok

The development of the project was continued under the present government of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). After all, the Jokowi government is launching the development of dozens of Special Economic Zones (KEKs) in various parts of the country to spur the peoples local economy and improve their welfare. The government is developing eight special economic zones (KEK) in various parts of the country and will later open seven additional zones to drive economic activities and help boost economic growth. One of the KEKs is the Mandalika zone which is also being developed as an international tourist resort.

“I want the development of the Mandalika KEK and resort area to be expedited. Sometime in the past, we faced three main problems, namely water supply, electricity and airport. That time, the airport was still in Mataram (NTB provincial capital). We need over one hour to reach Mandalika. But now, we can count it in several minutes only to arrive at Mandalika (as airport is already available),” the Vice President said.

The government will continue to develop the Mandalika area for it to become one of the countrys main tourist destinations comparable to the international tourist resort province of Bali and the Komodo Island, he said.

Lombok surfing

“Now, Mandalika has become more complete. After all, the development of this resort has been planned for 25 years,” Jusuf Kalla stated during his inspection of the Mandalika Resort.

The tourist resorts in many parts of the country should be able to attract foreign tourists, he said. For this, they should have many innovations in their development so that they would remain attractive to tourists and invite more investment.

tourism Lombok Indonesia

“The easiest effort to attract investment is by developing the tourism business because the capital needed for that purpose is not too big,” the Vice President said during an Indonesia Attractiveness Award 2015 event in Jakarta recently.

Indonesia Tourism News via http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/102007/indonesian-govt-wants-acceleration-of-mandalika-resort-development

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Travel Companies Helping Orangutans

Travel Companies Helping Orangutans On Borneo

Khiri Travel Indonesia, Wow Borneo and Asia Transpacific Journeys have joined forces to draw attention to the thousands of orangutans and other species whose habitats are being destroyed by fires in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.

orangutan conservation

According Khiri Reach, Khiri Travel’s not-for-profit arm, an estimated 10,000 orangutans, along with cloud leopards and hornbills, have been impacted by forest fires this year. And dozens of animals rescued by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) are in need of shelter, medication and nourishment.

“We want to mobilize the support of partner organizations, not just in Indonesia, but across the region to help the orangutan, preserve forest habitats, and encourage a halt to the burning of forests,” said Pharatah Senapan, chief ambassador of Khiri Reach. “A long-term sustainable solution is needed to ensure protection for the habitat of this unique species.”

Birutie Galdikas Camp Leakey Indonesia

“The foundation welcomes initiatives on orangutan and habitat conservation from partners,” said a spokesman. “We are keen to fulfill the Orangutan National Action Plan to put all orangutans in the rehabilitation centers back in the forest by 2015.”

Orangutan conservation Borneo

Apart from a donation to BOSF, Khiri Reach has also launched an awareness campaign for staff and travel industry partners across Indonesia.

“We can’t stand still and not take part to help with the situation,” said Khiri Reach Indonesia spokesperson, Elske de Vries. “In fact, we believe everyone should join.”

Members of the travel industry and the public can support the BOSF’s rescue work by either donating funds online or adopting an orangutan at donation.orangutan.or.id.

Indonesia News via http://www.traveldailymedia.com/229643/travel-companies-unite-to-help-borneos-orangutans/

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesian Flights Held Hostage By Volcanic Eruption

Rinjani One Of Indonesia’s Most Popular Treks

Flights have been grounded across Indonesia due to ongoing eruptions from Mt. Rinjani. Rinjani is ejecting ash up to 14,000 feet and causing hazardous flying conditions in and around the airports on the islands of Bali and Lombok.

The eruption has caused airport closures for over 120 miles, including the Bali International Airport, where airplanes have been grounded and wrapped to ensure ash does not infiltrate the aircraft engines. To date, 6,000 passengers have been stranded Rinjani eruption.

Despite the significant disruption to air traffic in the area, this eruption is minor for Rinjani, which has had larger eruptions periodically. The last eruption was from February 2010 to May 2010 with a Volcanic Explosion Index (VEI) of 2. The Rinjani caldera (a crater formed by volcanic collapse or explosion) formed in the 13th century with a VEI of 7. This eruption was large enough to deposit ash and sulfur in the Arctic and is thought to may have triggered the Little Ice Age, a global cooling period starting around 1250 AD. This eruption was the largest in the past 2000 years and is a significant eruption in literature as the timing was coincident with humans learning to write.

Mt. Rinjani Lombok Indonesia

Since the 13th century, Rinjani has been known to repeatedly erupt at low levels that do not pose significant risk to local residents and has become a normal part of life in an archipelago with 127 active volcanoes. Rinjani is part of what’s known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, a string of volcanoes that wrap around the greater Pacific Ocean.

Approximately 90% of all earthquakes around the world occur as a part of this Ring of Fire. These eruptions are due to the slow spreading of the Pacific Ocean along the East Pacific Rise as part of global plate tectonics. 

Mt. Rinjani volcano Lombok Indonesia

What’s certain is that the volcanism occurring from subduction of the Pacific Plate underneath the Australian Plate will cause future significant eruptions along the string of Indonesian islands. With better technology and monitoring, volcanologists can hopefully better predict the likelihood of a large eruption and warn local populations across Indonesia.

Indonesia Adventure News via http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2015/11/06/flights-cancelled-across-indonesia-rinjani-eruptions/

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Marks 50th Anniversary Of Deadly Coup

Democracy, Justice Denied Across Indonesia

By Joshua Oppenheimer, New York Times Contributor

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of a mass slaughter in Indonesia. With American support, more than 500,000 people were murdered by the Indonesian Army and its civilian death squads. At least 750,000 more were tortured and sent to concentration camps, many for decades.

The victims were accused of being “communists,” an umbrella that included not only members of the legally registered Communist Party, but all likely opponents of Suharto’s new military regime — from union members and women’s rights activists to teachers and the ethnic Chinese. Unlike in Germany, Rwanda or Cambodia, there have been no trials, no truth-and-reconciliation commissions, no memorials to the victims. Instead, many perpetrators still hold power throughout the country.

Merdeka Square Monas National Monument Jakarta

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, and if it is to become the democracy it claims to be, this impunity must end. The anniversary is a moment for the United States to support Indonesia’s democratic transition by acknowledging the 1965 genocide, and encouraging a process of truth, reconciliation and justice.

On Oct. 1, 1965, six army generals in Jakarta were killed by a group of disaffected junior officers. Maj. Gen. Suharto assumed command of the armed forces, blamed the killings on the leftists, and set in motion a killing machine. Millions of people associated with left-leaning organizations were targeted, and the nation dissolved into terror — people even stopped eating fish for fear that fish were eating corpses. Suharto usurped President Sukarno’s authority and established himself as de facto president by March 1966. From the very beginning, he enjoyed the full support of the United States.

I’ve spent 12 years investigating the terrible legacy of the genocide, creating two documentary films, “The Act of Killing” in 2013 and “The Look of Silence,” released earlier this year. I began in 2003, working with a family of survivors. We wanted to show what it is like to live surrounded by still-powerful perpetrators who had murdered your loved ones.

Look Of Silence Indonesia

The family gathered other survivors to tell their stories, but the army warned them not to participate. Many survivors urged me not to give up and suggested that I film perpetrators in hopes that they would reveal details of the massacres.

I did not know if it was safe to approach the killers, but when I did, I found them open. They offered boastful accounts of the killings, often with smiles on their faces and in front of their grandchildren. I felt I had wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust, only to find the Nazis still in power.

Today, former political prisoners from this era still face discrimination and threats. Gatherings of elderly survivors are regularly attacked by military-backed thugs. Schoolchildren are still taught that the “extermination of the communists” was heroic, and that victims’ families should be monitored for disloyalty. This official history, in effect, legitimizes violence against a whole segment of society.

The purpose of such intimidation is to create a climate of fear in which corruption and plunder go unchallenged. Inevitably in such an atmosphere, human rights violations have continued since 1965, including the 1975-1999 occupation of East Timor, where enforced starvation contributed to the killing of nearly a third of the population, as well as torture and extrajudicial killing that go on in West Papua today.

Military rule in Indonesia formally ended in 1998, but the army remains above the law. If a general orders an entire village massacred, he cannot be tried in civilian courts. The only way he could face justice is if the army itself convenes a military tribunal, or if Parliament establishes a special human rights court — something it has never done fairly and effectively.

With the military not subject to law, a shadow state of paramilitaries and intelligence agencies has formed around it. This shadow state continues to intimidate the public into silence while, together with its business partners, it loots the national wealth.

Indonesia can hold regular elections, but if the laws do not apply to the most powerful elements in society, then there is no rule of law, and no genuine democracy. The country will never become a true democracy until it takes serious steps to end impunity. An essential start is a process of truth, reconciliation and justice.

This may still be possible. The Indonesian media, which used to shy from discussing the genocide, now refers to the killings as crimes against humanity, and grassroots activism has taken hold.

Joko Widodo

The current president, Joko Widodo, indicated he would address the 1965 massacre, but he has not established a truth commission, issued a national apology, or taken any other steps to end the military’s impunity.

We need truth and accountability from the United States as well. U.S. involvement dates at least to an April 1962 meeting between American and British officials resulting in the decision to “liquidate” President Sukarno, the populist — but not communist — founding father of Indonesia. As a founder of the nonaligned movement, Sukarno favored socialist policies; Washington wanted to replace him with someone more deferential to Western strategic and commercial interests.

The United States conducted covert operations to destabilize Sukarno and strengthen the military. Then, when genocide broke out, America provided equipment, weapons and money. The United States compiled lists containing thousands of names of public figures likely to oppose the new military regime, and handed them over to the Indonesian military, presumably with the expectation that they would be killed. Western aid to Suharto’s dictatorship, ultimately amounting to tens of billions of dollars, began flowing while corpses still clogged Indonesia’s rivers. The American media celebrated Suharto’s rise and his campaign of death. Time magazine said it was the “best news for years in Asia.”

But the extent of America’s role remains hidden behind a wall of secrecy: C.I.A. documents and U.S. defense attaché papers remain classified. Numerous Freedom of Information Act requests for these documents have been denied. Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, will soon reintroduce a resolution that, if passed, would acknowledge America’s role in the atrocities, call for declassification of all relevant documents, and urge the Indonesian government to acknowledge the massacres and establish a truth commission. If the U.S. government recognizes the genocide publicly, acknowledges its role in the crimes, and releases all documents pertaining to the issue, it will encourage the Indonesian government to do the same.

This anniversary should be a reminder that although we want to move on, although nothing will wake the dead or make whole what has been broken, we must stop, honor the lives destroyed, acknowledge our role in the destruction, and allow the healing process to begin.

Indonesia History via http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/opinion/suhartos-purge-indonesias-silence.html?_r=0

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at gary@crossbow1.com. Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia