In an effort to bolster local tourism, the Australian consulate general in Mataram, Lombok regency, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province launched the Island Tourism Forum (ITF) on Monday.
Australian Consul General Helena Studdert said the forum – attended by academics, industry players and members of the Indonesian government – was expected to strengthen ties between Indonesia and Australia, as well as start a discussion regarding investment opportunities in the Regency.
“This meeting serves as a platform where academics, members of the government and other related stakeholders could share perspectives and experiences with each other,” she said during the launch of the ITF.
Studdert said the consulate hoped to discuss the state of local tourism in Lombok following the magnitude-5.7 earthquake that hit the region last year.
“We think it’s about time we held such a discussion to kickstart initiatives and solutions in an effort to renew interest in local tourism in the regency,” she said.
She added that she expected the ITF to push for more partnerships between Australian businesses and the Indonesian government to boost tourism in Lombok.
NTB Governor Zulkieflimansyah said his administration would always ensure that the province remained investor-friendly, particularly in relation to local tourism.
“We have been trying to ensure that the NTB remains an interesting tourist destination for stakeholders to invest in,” he said while commending the Australian government for its ITF initiative.