The Mandalika special economic zone (SEZ) is expected to be able accelerate tourism development in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province and attract up to 2 million foreign tourists per year starting 2019.
“Mandalika is the most attractive SEZ for investors today and is expected to become a world-class tourist destination,” said NTB Labor and Transmigration Agency head Wildan in Mataram, NTB, on Friday as quoted by Antara.
Located in the southern part of Lombok Island, covering an area of over 1,000 hectares facing the Indian Ocean, Mandalika was designated a tourism SEZ through Government Regulation (PP) No. 52/2014.
Wildan said the area offered convenient marine tourism with its breathtaking beaches and underwater scenery.
The name itself came from a legend figure named Princess Mandalika, who is said to be very beautiful. She was also the source of the province’s unique bau nyale ritual, which involves hunting sea worms believed to be the princess’ reincarnation.
A 4-kilometer long inner road reportedly had been built in the SEZ. Meanwhile, among the infrastructure and facilities currently being developed are office buildings and roads.
Up to five investors are said to have started building hotels at the location, namely Paramount Studio Hotel, Royal Tulip Hotel, Club Med Hotel, Pullman Hotel and X2 Hotel.
“The development target for the Mandalika area is expected to reach Rp 2.2 trillion [US$159.5 million] with up to Rp 28.64 trillion investment,” said Wildan.
It is also estimated to absorb at least 58,700 tourism workers.