Lombok optimistic despite Jetstar withdrawal 

Visit Indonesia remains hopeful about the future of the Australian tourism to Lombok, despite Jetstar’s recent decision to axe its fledgling service to the island.

Jetstar confirmed the withdrawal of its Perth-Lombok service earlier this month due to lack of demand, with it to take effect from October 16.

A delegation from Lombok, which included the vice governor and chairman of the Lombok Hotel Association, visited Jetstar’s head office last week to discuss future opportunities.

“It was a constructive opportunity to meet face to face and discuss the changes afoot and the future potential for the destination which Jetstar already recognises,” Visit Indonesia country manager Alison Roberts-Brown said.

“Jetstar said that they see the future potential of the service and hope that once demand grows further they will eventually be able to have a daily service from one or even two Australian cities.”

However, Jetstar told Travel Today that it did not envisage the situation changing in the short term.

Although disappointed by the move, Roberts-Brown was confident tourism numbers to the destination would continue to rise on the back of recent strong growth.

“While Australians continue to love Bali, we are seeing increasing numbers of Australians venturing to the beautiful Island of Lombok as well as the magical world heritage temple sites of Borobudur in central Java and beyond.  The figures are amazing,” she said. “The visitors to Lombok, for example, have doubled year on year from what we can understand, this is a trend set to continue.”

Flight Centre supported the claims, reporting growing interest in the destination from its customers.

“Lombok is an increasingly popular destination and is enjoying strong growth,” Indonesia product manager Enore Macnamara said.

“Within the Flight Centre Travel Group, sales and room nights both increased more than 50% last year and we have experienced similar growth again this year."

“With Lombok now firmly on the map, we foresee that Lombok will continue to grow in popularity with Australians,” Roberts-Brown said.

Source: TravelWeekly.com.au / http://bit.ly/Tyxq9R

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