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THOSE JETSTAR RUMOURS…
Lombok’s tourism industry collectively held its breath when local newspaper The Lombok Post announced that “Jetstar Airways Will Resume Australia – Lombok Flights Soon” in their 23 July 2017 issue.
Jetstar previously operated direct flights between Perth and Lombok from September 2013 but cancelled the route just over a year later, in October 2014.
The article went on to discuss the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Jetstar Group and the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism aiming to “deepen cooperation on tourism and promote growth in international tourism to Indonesia”.
The announcement quickly went viral and was picked up by many other newspapers and websites the next day… leading many to believe that a resumption of the direct Australia - Lombok Jetstar flights was imminent.
The Lombok Guide immediately contacted Jetstar management in Australia to confirm the news and received this response by email on 24 July 2017:
“Jetstar did sign an MOU with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism on a wide range of issues.
The MOU does consider opening up new Indonesian markets, and that could possibly be returning to Lombok.
But there is no decision on any new markets at this stage.”
So it seems local media was a little premature with its announcement.
What is important, however, as reported in the original article, is that both local Lombok (NTB) government and Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism are actively encouraging Jetstar to resume their Lombok flights.
Many believe that a lack of understanding about the importance of the Australian market by the government, and a laissez faire attitude in dealing with Jetstar management, were contributing factors in the cancellation of the original flights.
It seems that attitude has now taken a 360º turn with Lombok’s Deputy Governor of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Muhammad Amin, saying: “I really hope this direct flight can be reopened because during this time the number of tourist arrivals from Australia to Lombok is in the highest position. I am very confident with the direct Jetstar flight investment will grow rapidly.”
Speaking to reporters on 22 July, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, I Gde Pitana, stated that “…direct flight routes from abroad to Lombok will indeed be done in the near future”.
He explained that in the MOU, the scope of cooperation includes encouraging the improvement of Jetstar services to major tourist destinations in Indonesia, marketing and joint promotion activities in Australia and Asia Pacific, encouraging investment in aviation, tourism infrastructure, employment, and achieving the Ministry’s target of 20 million foreign tourists in 2019.
Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, added weight to the rumours, saying “…the contribution of airlines, among others, from Jetstar Group has a very big role in meeting seat capacity to support tourism targets.
“Jetstar Airways based in Australia and Jetstar Asia, based in Singapore, annually transport 1.4 million passengers to and from six cities in Indonesia. Awarded as the safest low cost carrier in the region, Jetstar currently operates 120 flights to and from Indonesia,” the Minister explained to reporters.
“By bringing the Lombok flights back,” Minister Arief continued, “Jetstar is helping bring more Australian tourists to a number of interesting destinations in Indonesia.”
“Jetstar Airways has become Australia’s largest airline to fly to Bali with about 60 flights per week, from 8 cities in Australia. In the last 10 years, Jetstar has increased the visit of foreign tourists from Australia as much as 55 times,” the Minister said.
Putting more pressure on Jetstar was Wonderful Indonesia’s Director for APAC Tourism Promotion, Vinsensius Jemadu, on a sales mission to Sydney this month.
Jemadu said the government is “… really pushing for Jetstar to resume operations to and from Lombok because it has many of the same marine features that attract Aussies to Bali, but without the crowds.”
“Indonesia really wants Jetstar in Lombok and we’re encouraging the airline to fly back there,” Jemadu told Australian media.
These statements certainly encourage Jetstar to consider re-opening their direct Lombok route and the sentiment is backed up by the Australian travel industry.
An article published on 6 July on the travel industry website, KarryOn, was headlined, “WHAT DO TRAVEL AGENTS WANT? JETSTAR FLIGHTS TO LOMBOK APPARENTLY”
The article went on to say: “No pressure Jetstar, but Travel Agents have spoken and if you weren’t already leaning towards returning to Lombok then you might like to reconsider because consultants are ready to sell your flights (and book them for themselves).”
So, while there is no confirmation from Jetstar as yet, we can only hope that the airline’s bosses are listening to the Indonesian Tourism Ministry and Australian travel agents.
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• The newly-opened “Sade Restaurant” in Kuta has changed its name to “Kemangi Bar & Kitchen”.
Management decided to change the name because the restaurant is located in central Kuta (not in the nearby village of Sade) and may confuse some guests.
Guests staying around Kuta can take advantage of Kemangi’s free shuttle service to get to and from the restaurant, available between 6.30 and 10pm.
Kemangi Bar & Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner daily. Don’t miss the Happy Hours from 5 – 7pm every day with Buy 1 Get 1 Free for all cocktails and Buy 2 Get 1 Free offers on Heineken and Bintang Beers! See advert on page 3.
• As Gili Trawangan fills up over high season, you might want to head for the peaceful north coast of the island and enjoy a more natural side of island life at Desa Dunia Beda.
‘Desa Dunia Beda’ means ‘a different world village’ and the lovely resort really is a different world compared to the busier areas of Gili T. However, all the hustle and bustle of Sentral is only a short walk away.
Accommodation is in spacious traditional wooden Joglo and old-world teak houses furnished with elegant four poster beds, air conditioning and all mod cons.
With just 12 villas set in lovely large gardens on the beachfront, there is plenty of space and privacy.
The resort also boasts a salt water infinity pool overlooking the ocean and beachfront dining that is consistently winning great reviews on travel sites such as TripAdvisor.
Stunning sunsets and seafood barbecues on the beach are a specialty!
See page 90.
• Rumah Joglo Indonesia showcases and sells fabulous wooden houses – many of them built from rare teak woods and over 100 years old – from around Indonesia.
The company supplies old recycled teak wood, custom-made and modified knock-down houses and gazebos in many different traditional styles.
Joglo and knock-down recycled houses are a beautiful and easy solution to building in Lombok. Visit the showroom soon! See page 48.
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KOREAN CHARTER FLIGHTS BRING HUNDREDS OF TOURISTS TO LOMBOK
The first of seven scheduled charter flights by Korean Air landed at Lombok International Airport on Saturday 29 July, 2017.
The inaugural flight from Incheon Airport in Seoul carried 194 passengers on board an Airbus 330-200 chartered from Korean Air.
The second flight is scheduled to arrive in Lombok on 2 August with another 208 passengers.
Further charters will arrive on 6 and 10 August, with the remainder of the flights continuing until October this year. The flights will bring an estimated 1,400 Korean tourists to Lombok in total.
Representatives from the Indonesian Tourism Ministry, the NTB Tourism Department, the Central Lombok administration and state-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura I put on a welcome ceremony to mark the inaugural landing of Korean Air at the airport, with traditional Gendang Beleq drumming and dancing greeting the passengers as they disembarked.
The Tourism Ministry’s Asia Pacific Promotion Director, Vinsensius Jemadu, said the opening of Korean Air’s Seoul - Lombok service could not be separated from the visit of IndonesianTourism Minister, Arif Yahya, to South Korea in May 2016.
Since that time, South Korean Ambassador to Indonesia, Cho Taiyoung, had visited Lombok twice to discuss the possibility of opening the new route with NTB Governor, M Zainul Majdi.
“The direct Korea - Lombok flight is being done because the interest of Korean citizens in Lombok continues to increase,” the Ambassador said, “Lombok is a beautiful place. And Lombok is very popular in Korea.”
Part of that popularity has been driven by Korean interest in Lombok after scenes of the island appeared on a number of television shows in Korea, particularly “We Got Married” – a popular Korean reality show featuring Korean celebrity couples and how they live after marriage.
Episodes of the show have been filmed at various locations around Lombok, including the Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort in Senggigi, Malimbu Beach on the west coast, and the popular islands of Gili Air and Gili Trawangan.
The natural beauty of the destinations sparked Korean interest in Lombok and was further increased when top South Korean actor, Gong Yoo holidayed in Lombok a few months ago.
He was then featured on the cover of 7 different Asian editions of “Esquire Magazine”, with the photo shoot taking place in Lombok.
General Manager of PT API at Lombok International Airport, I Gusti Ngurah Ardita confirmed that the Korean Air were the result of a long process of negotiation between PT Angkasa Pura I at Lombok International Airport and Korean Air management.
“Hopefully this flight can be maintained in the future,” he said. “This is a breakthrough for tourism, and increasing tourist arrivals in Lombok.”
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CLASSICAL MUSIC COMES TO LOMBOK – SEASON 3
©2017. Contributed by Gill Westaway
Following the success of the last two years’ programmes of classical music education and performances in Mataram, Season 3 of “Classical Music Comes to Lombok” will take place on 24 and 25 August.
Surabaya born pianist, Imma Setiadi, who has recently completed her doctoral studies at the Royal College of Music in London, and her British colleague and professor, Nigel Clayton, have agreed to return to Lombok for a third time this coming August to consolidate on the music education work they have done in the last two years.
This year they are very fortunate to be collaborating once again on this event with ‘Forum Gesek Mataram’ (Forges), whose activity may be better known under the name ‘Lombok Light Orchestra’.
Forum Gesek has performed regular classical music concerts over recent years and are firmly committed to helping more and more young people in Lombok to learn about classical music and eventually become talented performers in the world arena.
They are also passionate about helping teachers and parents to understand the importance of music education and guiding the general public towards a greater appreciation of classical music.
The programme will include a Classical Music workshop on 24 August at 15.00 for music students and their teachers and parents. This year there will be a focus on both the piano and the violin, effective rehearsal technique, and a more practical session on teaching.
This year there will also be an additional workshop with trainee music teachers hosted by Universitas Nahdlatul Ulama on 23 August 2017.
The highlight of the programme – the classical music concert – will take place on the evening of Friday, 25 August at 19.45.
As in previous years, both parts of the main programme will be held at Hotel Santika in Mataram – thanks to the generous support of the hotel’s General Manager, Pak Reza Bovier, who is a firm believer in the power of the arts and culture to enrich the lives of the people of Lombok.
The workshop on the first day will be on the topic “Classical Music: Effective Learning, Effective Teaching”.The aim of this workshop is to improve the quality of music education in Mataram, particularly in classical music, a venture which we hope can be sustained and continued into the future.
The workshop will be a ‘coaching clinic’ for music teachers, students, and their parents who are involved in classical music education.
Prof. Nigel Clayton and Imma Setiadi will give one-to-one tuition for piano and violin students and teachers (which is open to the public, as it is in the form of a masterclass). This will be followed by guided discussion and practical demonstration around issues in the teaching of classical music and piano for both teachers and parents. This session will conclude with a ‘Question and Answer’ session and a short performance from the students.
The performance part of the programme on 25 August at 19.45 in the Santika Ballroom, will be a two-part classical music concert, seen as a way of enhancing the variety and quality of musical performance in Lombok and introducing classical music to a wider public.
This concert will present classical music for string orchestra and piano (a collaboration between Forum Gesek and local pianists) and also the performance of piano music for four hands by Prof. Nigel Clayton and Imma Setiadi.
Forum Gesek will also play together with Prof. Nigel Clayton and Imma Setiadi to perform the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major K. 414 and some more exciting music for piano trio (piano, violin, and cello).
For all those planning to attend the concert, a buffet dinner will be available at the Santika Hotel from 6.30 pm at a net price of Rp125,000.
Tickets for both the workshop and the concert are available from Sinyo on 0818 0522 7880 or Budi on 0877 6510 5129.
Alternatively just turn up on the day of the workshop and/or concert and tickets will be available at the door (subject to availability, but bear in mind that there is only capacity for 50 people at the workshop and 150 at the concert!)
The organisers are funding this ambitious event through support from sponsors, both in kind and in cash. Cash is still much in need, so please contact Budi or Sinyo if at this stage you are able to make a contribution. Your support will of course be acknowledged in all publicity. As a sponsor you will also receive two complimentary concert tickets and be invited to a special ‘drinks’ with the musicians after the concert.
We look forward to seeing you all at the Santika on 24 and/or 25 August for more classical music treats!
Among our sponsors so far are Puri Mas, The Studio, Villa Karingal and Joyce Smith, with venue support from the Santika Hotel.
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SEMPIAK VILLAS... South Lombok’s Beautiful Secret!
The South Lombok coastline west of Kuta flows from one beautiful bay to the next until it reaches the beach of Selong Belanak, which stretches in a wide sweeping arc of white sand and dazzling turquoise sea.
Overlooking this glorious beach is Sempiak Villas – a collection of private villas discreetly tucked into the hillside and offering luxurious stays in a sublime setting.
Opened in January 2011, Sempiak Villas spans the hillside and beachfront at Selong Belanak, surrounded by natural foliage and landscaped gardens.
Over the past six years, the resort has grown to encompass not only the premium hillside villas but also beachside holiday homes, a delightful bespoke Spa area and the renowned Laut Biru Bar and Restaurant overlooking the beachfront.
The owners, local businessman Lalu Faturrahman and his wife Rox Harvey, have been careful over the years to ensure development is kept low-key and in keeping with the natural surroundings.
The architect-designed villas are perched on the hillside overlooking the panoramic beach and valley views. Built from wood and natural materials, each villa is unique and offers guests different options, from the sweet studio villa for couples to the larger 2 bedroom villa with private swimming pool.
Even those without pools enjoy access to the resort swimming pool, located midway up the hill. Surrounded by decking with sun lounges, shaded tables and outdoor couches, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the ever-changing views over the beach.
For those whose budgets don’t extend to the villas, or who are travelling with friends and family, the Sempiak holiday houses are a good option and allow guests to enjoy the facilities and unique experience of a stay at Sempiak.
Located near the beachfront, the three holiday houses accommodate 4 to 6 people. All are tastefully decorated and feature small kitchens, living and dining areas, and comfortable terraces.
Each of the holiday houses are air conditioned and spacious, and the beach is just minutes away.
Laut Biru Bar and Restaurant forms the heart of the resort and is a popular destination for day trippers with its superb location right on the beachfront.
Decorated in elegant colours of ocean and sand, it is light, airy and designed to be as unobtrusive as possible on the beautiful Selong Belanak landscape.
Guests can enjoy cold drinks and delicious snacks and meals, along with the wonderful views, while spending a day swimming and sunbathing directly on the beach. There is also an open area set up on the sand with tables, chairs and umbrellas.
Inside the restaurant, a rustic wooden bar provides a place to perch in the shade from where you can order anything from cocktails to coffees.
The beachfront of the property is divided into two areas, with Laut Biru Bar and Restaurant on the eastern side and the Camplung Beach Club on the western side. This latter area is reserved purely for the use of the Sempiak Villa guests with lounges to spend the day sunbathing and swimming, while ordering up snacks and drinks from the restaurant.
When you’ve had your fill of the sun and sea, The Spa by Sempiak is a peaceful oasis of water features, river stones and wood.
The treatment rooms and beauty lounge are beautifully decorated in soothing whites and turquoise, with lovely features like hand-made tiles, antique furnishings and soft billowing curtains.
Guests can choose from a range of massages and beauty treatments in the air conditioned private rooms, or enjoy reflexology, manicures and pedicures outside in the shady tropical gardens.
There is even a dedicated ‘hair salon’ for shampoos, hair treatments and relaxing head massages.
Laut Biru Bar and Restaurant and The Spa welcome outside guests... making it easy to spend a day in luxury at beautiful Selong Belanak Beach.
With its understated elegance and dedication to offering guests a relaxing escape, it’s little wonder that for those in the know, Sempiak Villas is South Lombok’s beautiful secret!
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PURI MAS SPA TAKES OUT WORLD CLASS AWARDS!
Congratulations to Puri Mas Boutique Resorts who have taken out two more “World Luxury Awards” this month.
In October last year, Puri Mas walked off with the “Best Luxury Boutique Hotel” award in the country category for Indonesia at the “2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards” held in Qatar.
This month, the team from Puri Mas Luxury Spa in Kerandangan attended the “World Luxury Spa Awards” held in Hanoi, Vietnam and was delighted to find their Spa had scooped up not one but two world class awards!
At the lavish awards ceremony held at the JW Marriott in Hanoi,
Puri Mas Luxury Spa received the award for “The Best Luxury Boutique Spa - South East Asia”.
The team was then surprised and excited to find that they had also won the award for “The Best Hideaway Spa - Continent Asia”!
This is a huge achievement for a small Spa on Lombok, competing against the best in the world!
Puri Mas Director, Marcel de Rijk, and General Manager, Sara Sanders, generously took a group of employees to Hanoi to accept the awards (and to enjoy a few days celebrating in Vietnam together!)
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A young jackaroo from outback Queensland goes off to university, but halfway through the semester has he foolishly squandered all of his money.
He calls home. “Dad, you won’t believe what modern education is developing,” he says. “They actually have a programme here in Brisbane that will teach our dog Ol’ Blue how to talk.”
“That’s amazing!” his Dad says. “How do I get Ol’ Blue in that programme?”
“Just send him down here with $2,000,” the young jackaroo says, “I’ll get him in the course.”
So his father sends the dog and $2,000 to his son.
About two-thirds through the semester, the money has run out again and the boy calls home.
“So how’s Ol’ Blue doing, son?” his father wants to know.
“Awesome, dad, he’s talking up a storm! But you just won’t believe this. They’ve had such good results with talking, they’ve started teaching the animals how to read!” the son tells his dad.
“Read?!” exclaims his father. “No kidding! How do we get Ol’ Blue in that programme?”
“Just send $4,500, dad. I’ll get him into the class,” the son says.
The money promptly arrives. But our hero has a problem. At the end of the year, his father will find out the dog can neither talk nor read. So he shoots the dog.
When he arrives home at the end of the year, his father is all excited.
“Where's Ol’ Blue? I just can’t wait to talk with him, and see him read something!” dad exclaims.
“Dad,” the boy says, “I have some grim news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Ol’ Blue was in the living room, kicked back in the recliner, reading the Wall Street Journal.
Then he suddenly turned to me and asked, “So, is your daddy still cheating on your mum with that little redhead barmaid at the pub?”
His father groans and whispers, “I hope you shot that bastard before he talks to your mother!”
“I sure did, dad!”
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