JLL‘s recent Hotel and Tourism report on Indonesia shows that the only way is up for the country

The tropical island of Lombok is becoming increasingly popular with international tourists

With international tourist numbers hitting 9.5 million last year and with the government aiming for 20 million by 2020, Indonesia – and in particular, Jakarta, Bali and Lombok – is doing something right when it comes to touristic appeal.

According to JLL, Bali and Jakarta inevitably remain the most popular destinations, with 3.8 million and 2.3 million visitors respectively in 2014, but Lombok is creeping up to compete alongside them with almost 70,000 international arrivals last year.

The tropical island located to the east of Bali is sure to benefit from AirAsia’s increased service to its international airport as well as from the proposed Mandalika project in the south of the island. With construction beginning later this year and slated to fully complete in 2021, this integrated project, comprising hotels, villas, residences and a golf course, is sure to attract tourists in their droves.

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Bali continues to perform well in the tourism arena and offers scope for further growth. JLL reports on how, outside of the developed areas, the island remains largely untouched. Improved infrastructure, including a new airport, together with increased air routes and visa-free entry for 30 countries, should see Bali become even more of a tourist metropolis. JLL are hopeful that these welcoming gestures by the government will see the market shift beyond the traditional hordes of Australian tourists who tend to dominate the international arrivals.

Fifteen new, internationally branded hotels are due to open on the island between now and 2017 including such names as Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental and Raffles.

Jakarta, too, is on course for an influx in international arrivals. Low-cost carrier flights to the Indonesian capital from 4 Malaysian cities have been introduced and the city is due to welcome 10 internationally branded hotels between now and 2018.

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Jakarta is also benefitting from the rise of Shari’ah tourism, according to JLL, which is evidenced by the 26.2 percent year-on-year growth in Saudi Arabian tourist arrivals in 2014.

As a developing country, however, Indonesia has its fair share of troubles which could put their burgeoning tourist industry in jeopardy. Although the political and economic situation is seemingly improving under President Joko Widodo, security threats are commonplace and, particularly on the islands, the electricity and water supply isn’t always reliable.

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