A new speedboat route between Lombok and Bali islands was inaugurated by the head of West Lombok district, Fauzan Khalid, on Sunday with the aim of increasing tourist visits to the district.
The route starts from Senggigi tourism area in West Lombok district, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province, and ends at Nusa Penida Island in Klungkung district, Bali province, and vice versa.
Before reaching each end destination, the speedboat transits at Gede Island, Sekotong sub-district, West Lombok district.
“The opening of the route aims to provide additional alternative tourism attractions and promote the beauty of the islands around Sekotong sub-district, including its coral,” the district head remarked.
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The route was inaugurated with a trial trip, which was carried out around 12:00 p.m. Central Standard Indonesian Time (WITA, which is UTC+8) on Sunday.
After inaugurating the route, officials from the district government along with investors conducted a joint evaluation of various preparations and efforts that need to be taken to expedite the operation of the new route.
“We expect the new route to run optimally, thus we have to implement various preparations,” Khalid said.
He further said he hopes that the operation of the speedboat route will encourage the revival of other sectors in addition to tourism, thus the route will have an economic impact on the community.
Meanwhile, head of the West Lombok District Tourism Office, M. Fajar Taufiq, said that with the opening of the new Nusa Penida-Gili Gede-Senggigi route, the number of tourists visiting Nusa Penida Island could reach 15 thousand.
However, sometimes tourists have no idea which tourism destinations they can visit next, he noted. Thus, the Nusa Penida-Gede Island-Senggigi route has been opened as an alternative, he added.
“Hopefully, it can run smoothly, thus the tourism sector in West Lombok district can recover,” Taufiq added.
The tourism office is working with several travel agents to promote the new route.