Indonesia’s prep for MotoGP in full swing

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Kuta Mandalika

The government is expediting the construction of new roads, lodgings, tourist facilities and other local infrastructure ahead of the world-class MotoGP motorcycle racing event scheduled to run March 18-20 in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

Mandalika MotoGP field commander Hadi Tjahjanto said on Jan. 21 that developers had readied 300 homestays in addition to the 16,000 existing hotel rooms in Lombok to accommodate tourists. They were also preparing campgrounds and other accommodation in neighboring Bali and in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara.

“We will also add cruise ships, vessels from Pelni and pinisi [phinisi schooners] for additional accommodation on coastal areas,” said Hadi, a former Indonesian Military commander and retired air chief marshal, referring to the state-owned ship operator.

The Public Works and Housing Ministry was working on an extension road to the racing circuit and finishing a hilltop observation deck for tourists, he continued, while construction had been completed on the Mandalika circuit’s grandstand, control room, electrical facilities and the so-called VIP Village for the racing teams.

Read more : The Mandalika Street Circuit In Lombok: 2021-2022 Season Ready-Set-And-Go

Event organizers are expecting a huge surge in tourist arrivals to Lombok for the MotoGP, yet the island lacked the basic infrastructure and human resources needed to accommodate the top-tier motorcycle event.

To address the issue, President Joko Widodo passed Presidential Regulation No. 116/2021 on Dec. 31, 2021 to expedite infrastructure development in West and East Nusa Tenggara. The regulation allows the government to directly appoint suppliers, guarantee land, issue permits and disburse funding for the event.

Hadi added that event organizers would also hold a “dress rehearsal” for air, land and sea traffic management two weeks prior to the Grand Prix to anticipate the surge in visitors.

Taking place ahead of the main race at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit is the Mandalika MotoGP official test, to be held on Feb. 11-13.

Hadi also noted that 63,000 MotoGP tickets had been sold since February 2021, and that event organizers expected to sell more in the next two months to reach a projected total of 110,000 spectators.

Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate said on Friday that the MotoGP Grand Prix was expected to give a 19 percent boost to local tourism, provide 8,000 new jobs and contribute to the incomes of 3,000 employees at small and medium enterprises.

“We hope that we will gain half a trillion rupiah [US$34.93 million] as an immediate impact from the multiplier effect of the MotoGP,” he said.

Johnny added that telecommunications companies Telkom, XL and Indosat would showcase their 5G capabilities during the event, including through an immersive virtual racing experience.

The MotoGP Indonesian Grand Prix was pushed back in April 2021 for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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