The “10 new Bali” project in Indonesia: What is it, and why will it shape the future of Southeast Asia’s tourism industry?

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The “10 New Bali’s” Explained

The future of tourism in Indonesia

Bali had dominated Indonesia’s tourism industry from as early as the 1900s when Dutch member of parliament, Herr H. Van Kol, arrived as one of its first foreign visitors. He even wrote a book about his experiences, dedicating many of its pages to the province.

However, it isn’t Bali’s unique charm alone that has made tourism in Indonesia a hit. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo set clear benchmarks for the development of tourism, by designing and implementing a strategic and coordinated government plan and effort, coupled with relaxing visa and business restrictions. Since 2016, citizens from up to 169 countries could now enjoy free travel to the nation.

With this in place, the aim to drive growth in tourism was set in motion. At the same time, with the end of visa restriction and a weakened rupiah, Widodo’s goal to attract 20 million tourists by 2019 is not too far off the horizon.

10 new Bali project
Indonesia’s Travel and Tourism projections | MarketLine 10 new Bali project

National priorities and Tourism projects: Jokowi’s vision of Indonesia

The 10 new Bali project

Tourism figures for 2018 stood at 15.8 million, a 13 percent increase on the previous year.

The intended knock-on effect is continued growth, rapid expansion and economic investment, leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Indonesia’s renewed tourism boom shows that Jokowi’s 5-year-plan is swiftly taking effect, making the nation a suitable place for current investment.

The stunning archipelago might have once been known for exporting exotic spices, as well as myriad natural resources such as oil and gas, copper, tin, precious metals such as gold; and plywood, rubber and textiles. However, one of its main assets by far is its unique unspoiled physical geography. It is a land peppered by its signature volcanos, lush forests, mountain ranges, unique flora and fauna and a rich cultural diversity shown in its plethora of indigenous architectural styles seen across the territory.

Heard in the utterance of different languages of its citizens, Indonesia lives up to its motto, which is “Unity in Diversity.” A large part of its potential and success is how the government actively promotes a sense of binding inter-cultural cooperation between its citizens and permits religious freedom. By officially recognising six religions—Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism—people peacefully coexist, weaving their unique elements into the luxurious fabric of everyday life.

It is land of stories that have traversed the test of time—from ancient kingdoms and dynasties—to its more recent history of modern European colonial traders such as the Portuguese, the Spanish and the Dutch.  The most important story is the next one to be written.

The Blank Canvas

The blank canvas, from which citizens, the government, investors, tourists and locals alike will co-author a vision – is likely to become the blueprint from which a future of tremendous economic advancement and opportunity will take place.

10 new bali project
Took Bay – Lombok | 10 new Balis

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While Bali is a world-class tourism hub, Indonesia is much more than this area alone. Comprising of over 17,000 islands, the archipelago is filled with many more destinations that each have unique offerings yet to be discovered.

As Indonesia focuses on increasing the number of foreign arrivals to support its economic growth policies, the reality is that Bali alone cannot accommodate over 20 million+ new tourists. Further to this, Indonesia risks a continued dependence on exporting raw commodities if it relies on a single destination for its tourism industry. In the current climate of a global economic downfall, demands of raw commodities (such as crude oil, coal and iron ore) fluctuate, along with the international business activity. Therefore, Indonesia can address such vulnerability by building its economy from tourism.

The Solution

As Indonesia focuses on increasing the number of foreign arrivals, president Joko Widodo and his ministers announced the Ten New Bali Project in 2016.

Watch here Joko Widodo’s speech on the 10 New Bali

This project is a government initiative to establish 10 new tourist hubs to replicate the economic effects of tourism in Bali nationally. This sector has been chosen because tourism is a key driver for economic development. This can be seen in the 2016 figures where tourism contributed 11 per cent, or 172 trillion rupiah (S$17 billion), to Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP). Therefore, some ambitious goals have been put in place to achieve 20 million foreign arrivals by 2020.

10 new Bali project
Pristine Pengantap Bay on Lombok Island | Invest Islands

By 2020, the government has the following goals: 

  1. Tourism to represent 8% of the nation’s overall GDP
  2. Foreign exchange income to increase to Rp240 Trillion (US$18 Billion)
  3. Employment of 13 million locals

To achieve this, the government will:

  • Improve Infrastructure (transportation, public facilities, Information and Computer Technology (ICT readiness)
  • Enhance Connectivity
  • Encourage Foreign Investment by Easing Restricting Regulations
  • Encourage Sustainable Development to preserve the natural environment
  • Increase Flight Routes
  • Implement a Visa-Free Travel Policy (169 countries)
  • Ease Access Regulations (no clearance approval required for yachts, five seaports allowing passengers to enter and depart Indonesia by boat)
  • Promote Special Economic Zones to draw foreign investors (trade)
  • Promote Special zones for meetings, incentives, conferences & events
  • Increase Sports Tourism
  • Bolster security, health and hygiene
  • Promote an International Marketing Campaign (Wonderful Indonesia)
  • Promote a Local Marketing Campaign (Pesona Indonesia) to deter the domestic market from venturing to Singapore instead
  • Develop Tourism-Focused Colleges and Academies

This project is not meant to devalue the existing tourist hub of Bali but rather to support Indonesian economic growth, by creating more jobs, improving infrastructure & access and to accommodate the goal of 20 million foreign arrivals by 2020.

The hotspots listed below are destinations designated as the”10 New Bali’s” for their potential and scope to become outstanding tourism attractions. Each place selected has distinct special features that with the right type of development, have the potential to be the next “places to be” in Indonesia. Targeted investment by the government, provides a bridge of opportunity for individual investors whom we work on behalf of.

1. Lombok Mandalika 
A specially designed tourism economic zone, stretching from the south coast of Lombok along the coastline towards favourite surf spot “Grupuk Village,” part of the Central Lombok Recency [administrative centres] of West Nusa Tenggara province.  With excellent proximity to an international airport and home to a world-class Moto GP track with construction close to completion.

Map of the 10 new Bali projects
10 new Bali project | Invest Islands

2. Borobudur
Borobudur is a Buddhist temple complex of renowned importance, comparable to the world-famous temples of Bagan in Myanmar and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Housing some 2,672 painted reliefs and 504 Buddha statues, it promises to put Indonesia on the circuit of cultural world heritage tourism.

3. Lake Toba (North Sumatra) 
The largest lake in Indonesia, known as a “caldera” (the collapsed mouth of a super-volcano) is set in an area of immense tranquillity with ample opportunity for the continued expansion of its shores. Activities will include boating watersports, and it also acts as a base from which to tour surrounding attractions, such as adjacent pine forests, waterfalls and museums, where you can learn about the local ways of life.

4. Tanjung Lesung (Banten)
Located on the western tip of Java, just 160 KM from Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, this upcoming beach destination has a host of holiday accommodation, from where you can jet-ski, surf, snorkel or travel to see the famous Krakatoa Volcano, a short boat ride away.

5. The Thousand Islands (Jakarta) 
A stone’s throw away from Jakarta, this scattering of 110 small islands stretches out some 45 kilometres into the Java Sea. Eleven of the Islands are already developed into resorts, with others privately owned or designated as national park areas. Among the 11 populated islands, you will find a population of 20,000 and an imprint of the past, in the historical remnants left behind from Dutch colonial fortresses to a centre dedicated to the study of seaweed. A perfect mix of marine activity and heritage tourism.

6. Tanjung Kelayang Beach (Bangka Belitung Islands) 
Mesmerising rock formations litter this unique beach location that coupled with its crystalline waters, undeveloped coastline and landmark white lighthouse, make it a charming location for a further enterprise.

7. Mount Bromo (East Java)
Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire – an area covering 40,000 km of the Pacific basin where earthquakes and volcano eruptions frequently occur – Mount Bromo is a natural wonder and a wilderness perfect for adventure seekers. Already offering hiking tours, visitors can choose to scale the volcano as a group, or independently. This is a potential epicentre of exquisite once in a lifetime adventure travel.

8. Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara) 
This fishing village is stationed on the western side of Flores Island — Land of Flowers — with a local population eager to engage with visitors, offering boat trips, tours of the local school, as well as providing ample opportunities for visitors to experience what life is like in a small scale rural Indonesian setting.

9. Wakatobi (South Sulawesi)
Understated luxury is what Wakatobi, a self-styled exclusive dive site resort, is all about. 5* amenities, set in a beachy oasis of colourful coral reefs, there is ample room for executive style development in this location.

10. Morotai Island (North Maluku)
This northmost part of Indonesia’s archipelago, once known as the “Spice Islands” — is popular with those interested in diving or the fishing it offers in the periphery of its marine parks — an island of panoramic views and a seemingly endless 16 km white shale beach. Morotai sits among the type of untapped raw beauty that is begging to be developed with sensitivity and creative thought.

The First 3 Priority Locations

10 new Bali project
10 New Bali Project

An international airport and home to a world-class MotoGP track, Mandalika Circuit, already a fixture of 2022.

1. Mandalika Resort (Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat) 
An international airport, 5-star resorts under development, International Circuit Track (Moto GP), Solar Power Plant, Atlantis Tidal Energy Solution, Invest Islands Luxury Residence in Awang, Torok Bay with Singapore and Hong Kong Investors Developments.

2. Borobudur Temple (Central Java) 
A new international airport in Yogyakarta and development of cultural heritage sites.

3. Lake Toba (North Sumatra) 
A new international airport and expanded runway, which has shortened the trip from hours of travel by air and road to a short 2-hour flight.


The development of infrastructure and improved access is well underway in these priority locations. Without imposing any bias, this is especially so for Mandalika (Kuta Lombok) where there are new roads throughout the island, an expanding international airport, the well-funded Mandalika project (Pullman hotel is at 80% completion, and the Moto GP track has been confirmed as part of the 2022 fixture) and a range of private investor developments in the South. 

With foreign investment pouring in, the uniqueness Lombok has to offer is apparent, with sustainable and eco-friendly events becoming a core principle of a new type of development emerging on Indonesia’s islands.

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Secret Gilis in Lombok Island | 10 new Bali project

10 new Bali project

Target Markets

Singapore, Malaysia and Australia are the three source markets that until now have dominated the arrival figures for Indonesia. Singapore is the largest source of tourists with 1.5 million visitor arrivals and a Twin Destination Program to encourage more. The Ten New Bali’s book was launched in Singapore as part of this program. Malaysia and Australia are natural target markets due to their proximity to Indonesia. Australia, in particular, is a robust and reliable market with an improving bilateral relationship.

However, statistics show that there has been an increase in Chinese tourists over the last 2 years prior to the pandemic. This positioned China as a market having looked set to overtake Singapore’s number one spot – a 46% surge in 2017 bringing in 1.4 million Chinese tourists. It remains as yet to be seen if this trend will continue as tourism opens once again. 

Other markets to tap into included the Middle East, Dubai, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Europe and the USA.

10 new Bali project

The Best Investment Destinations (Globally) 10 new Bali project

10 new bali project
World map Investment destinations | © Invest Islands 10 new Bali project

Africa | Some projects include Bourgreg Valley Development (Rabat, Morocco), Konza Technology City (Nairobi, Kenya), Modderfontein New City (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Worker Training Academy (Cairo, Egypt).

China | Some projects include the Amur River Rail Bridge Project, The Belt & Road Initiative and an Infrastructure Master plan (45 new skyscrapers in Chiyoda, Minato & Shibuya).

Indonesia | Some projects include infrastructure developments nationwide, Mandalika Resort Project (Lombok, Special Economic Zone), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT – Jakarta), New Yogyakarta International Airport and the Patimban Seaport in Subang (West Java).

Dubai | Some highlights include Dubai International City (architecture, businesses, residential, and tourism hub) and Dubailand ($64 billion projects scheduled for completion in 2025 that will have six parts: theme parks, sports venues, eco-tourism, health facilities, science attractions, and hotels).
Some projects include The World (an Artificial Archipelago), Dubailand ($64 billion), Al Maktoum International Airport ($82 billion), Falconcity of Wonders ($36,5 billion) and Business Bay ($30 billion).

Saudi Arabia | A highlight here is the Neom project (an ambitious mega-city project built from scratch). Some other projects include Neom King Abdullah Economic City, Qiddiya Entertainment City and Jean Nouvel’s Sharaan Resort in Al-Ula.

Malaysia | A highlight here is that new large-scale industrial developments expected in response to robust demand for warehouses. Some projects include Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Project (mega project to transforms Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur into one big Megapolis called Greater Kuala Lumpur), KL River City (320 acres of potential development area with a focus on the rehabilitation and transformation of a 2.2km stretch of Sungai Gombak), Forest City (to be completed 2035), Iskandar, Putrajaya and large-scale industrial and residential developments (eco World Development Group Bhd).

The USA | Some projects include Hudson Yards (New York City), Capitol Crossing (Washington, D.C.) and One Thousand Museum (Miami).

Australia | Some projects include Barangaroo Towers (Sydney and Parramatta Square), redevelopment of Rialto Towers (Melbourne), Light Rail on George Street (Sydney), the Cross River Rail (Brisbane, QLD), OneSKY (Canberra, ACT), Metro Tunnel (Melbourne, Victoria), Sydney Metro City & Southwest (Sydney, NSW) and new residential communities, mixed-use and apartments projects (nationwide).

Singapore | Some projects include 60 new launch condos, private housing supply expected to surge, Jurong Innovation District and Punggol Digital District.

Brazil | A highlight here is that the Brazilian real remains stable against the U.S. dollar hence good yields and a weak currency mark this as a strong buy. Some projects include sustainable urban development project (Fortaleza), coastal region residential developments (Fortaleza) and luxury real estate developments (João Pessoa).

Mexico | Some projects include Sante Fe Mexico City (from a dump to one of the largest CBD’s in the world), Port of Veracruz expansion, Felipe Angeles Airport and Dos Bocas Refinery.

The Caribbean Islands | Some projects include Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski (Dominica), Club Med Miches (Dominican Republic), O: LV Fifty Five (Puerto Rico), S Hotel Jamaica (Jamaica) and many more!

Panama | Some highlights include a market for apartment rentals, agricultural opportunities (a fertile breadbasket for productive land and organic plantations), new and strengthening relationship with China, and numerous new real estate developments by the beach and the city. Some projects include planned construction of the third Metro line, a fourth bridge over the Panama Canal, the Canal expansion, a Panamanian natural gas electric power plant ($1.15 billion) and the Colón Urban Regeneration project.

10 new Bali project

What becomes clear when comparing the above countries is that Indonesia holds unique potential in its hands in the development of an eco-tourism destination in south Lombok.

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Kuta Mandalika Fact-sheet | © Invest Islands 10 new Bali project

10 New Bali Project

What becomes clear when comparing the above countries is that Indonesia holds unique potential in the development of an eco-tourism destination in southern Lombok.

The Mandalika Resort Project is a US$3 Billion project backed by the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) that is set to become a world-class destination and special economic zone (SEZ). With 1175Ha of tourism-related mixed-use product, this project represents a different version of ‘Bali’ and a new approach to the island tourism model for development. Highlights of this region include its proximity from main airport hubs such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia – housing over 10,000,000 hotel rooms (Gran Melia, Pullman, Club Med, Grand Mercure Hotel); a theme park, eco-park, water park and mangrove park; a Yacht Marina and an international street Mandalika Circuit (Moto GP 2022).

The project is just the beginning of an island narrative – as the Mandalika and surrounding initiatives aim to put Lombok firmly on the map – making south Lombok a prime eco-tourism destination. ‘The Green Future,’ is actively promoting ways to incorporate environmentally friendly technologies. These include solar farms, SWRO plants, electric light rail train, cable cards and 51% dedicated ‘green space’ to preserve the natural beauty of its flora and fauna, its panoramic views and cultural authenticity.

To conclude, we encourage you to explore the many wonders of Indonesia. The governments initiative to reach 20 million tourists by 2020 is an ambitious target. However, with 14 million foreign arrivals recorded in 2018, together with a continuing influx of foreign investment and the development of infrastructure and projects in key locations, the evidence already shows that many great transformations in the country are already very much underway.

10 new Bali project

10 New Balis infographics

10 new Bali project

10 new Bali project

Article Sources: 10 new Bali project






6 The Ten New Bali Book launched in Singapore;;







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