Commencing on the 12th of December 2018, AIBC NSW End of Year Party was held at MLC centre. Partnering with Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and Wonderful Indonesia, the event gave the opportunity for the 60 attendees to network and exclusively get the firsthand updates of the Mandalika.
Michael delivering his opening speech
The event started with a welcome speech by AIBC NSW President, Michael Fay who introducing Australia Government representation, Director of International Trade NSW, Peter Markey. Both Michael and Peter welcomed Trisari Paramita from the Embassy of Indonesia and AIBC Vice President Sam Hardjono.
The hospitality during the night
Although the night was focusing on the tourism sector, AIBC encouraged everyone to participate in maximising the opportunity to enhance the relation between the two countries in their own field. The optimism of the signage of IA-CEPA in the up-coming year was mentioned. The highly anticipated partnership agreement will be the force in supporting business between Australia-Indonesia. IA-CEPA is essential to support the Indonesia tourism grand plan beyond Bali. Michael jokingly added, “10 years in the making, it’s (IA-CEPA) a difficult dish to make, apparently even harder than Rendang.”
The excellent networking opportunity during the break
The discussion of Mandalika was led by the Director of Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation, Miriam Tulevski. Mandalika located next to Bali in Southern Lombok is only a flight away from Jakarta (1.5 hours) or Denpasar (25 mins), alternatively from Gili islands visitors could reach Mandalika by fast boat from Padang Bai harbour. Miriam ensured that transportation won’t be a problem with its strategic location and direct international flights are been watched closely.
Lombok is known with its beautiful beaches with a distinct cultural influence. Unlike its next-door neighbour islands, Lombok is predominantly by Muslim with small Hindu community. Reflecting on its cultures, ‘Mandalika’ was taken from a local/Sasak traditional folktale, the Princess Mandalika. The people of Lombok today still carry on the annual tradition of Bau Nyale/hunting sea-worms which was believed to be the transformation of Princess Mandalika coming back to keep her promise. The distinct cultures of Lomboknese add its own attractions and not a mere recreating another Bali.
Being the only granted Special Economic Zone by Indonesia government, Mandalika is an on-going sizeable development. The area comprises 1.175 ha or 1,000 rugby fields, 16 km of coastline and 5 beaches or equal to Sydney CBD area to Manly. Comprising of 10,000 hotel rooms, 1,500 residential units, meeting and convention facilities for over 12,000 people. 35,000 square-meters commercial space of retailers, home to luxury and premium hotels such The Pullman Hotel, Club Med, Paramount Studio Resorts and The Novotel Lombok Resort, a street racing and motor GP circuit, 120 ha theme park and 78 marinas are part of Mandalika development. Over 400 million AUD has been invested in realising the sustainable and eco-friendly destination. ITDC is optimist with their developing experience Mandalika will be fully operating in 2021 as according to the master plan. The night was closed with a lucky drawn to win an exclusive holiday experience at the Mandalika including exploring one of the 13 ‘secret Gilly’.