Full steam ahead for Indonesia’s cruise tourism development

Menjangan Island in Bali

As it forays into cruise tourism, the Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has unveiled plans to develop an integrated resort with a cruise port in Menjangan, north-west of Bali.

ITDC is the owner and developer of the Nusa Dua integrated tourism complex in Bali, and Mandalika in Lombok.

Menjangan Island (pictured), north-west of Bali, will soon have a cruise terminal and hotels

Its latest project in Menjangan – a joint venture between ITDC and a local land owner who declined to be named – will be a long-term one. The first phase of development is sited on 100ha of land, with facilities including a cruise terminal and two hotels targeted to open in the next two years.

Indonesian construction company WIKA is injecting two trillion rupiah (US$134 million) for this preliminary stage of development.

“We are looking for investors to develop other facilities and attractions,” said Edwin Darmasetiawan, director of ITDC. The second phase will take place over an area of 1,500ha.

“The idea is to create a port of call and a destination at the same time,” he said, adding that additional offerings including a golf course, retail outlets, and a marine aquarium are in the pipeline.

Instead of reclaiming land for the entire area, which used to be a shrimp farm, ITDC will develop “islands”, which can be connected by canoes and other transport modes.

Developing a cruise terminal in Bali’s north will help to improve access issues for cruise passengers to the destination.

Said Edwin: “The northern part of Bali is less developed than the south. There is a port in Celukan Bawang, but there is (not much for) travellers in the north, only Lovina and Tulamben.

“When a cruise ship (calls) there, travellers need to take buses down south for shopping and to visit other attractions. It takes three hours one way to get to Denpasar.”

Considering that this is part of an eight-hour stop in Bali, too much time is wasted on the road, he remarked.

According to Edwin, the project is part of a larger plan to create a cruise route through different parts of Indonesia, as ITDC expands its business portfolio into destination management and cruise tourism development.

“In Indonesia, we are working with (port authorities) in Bakauheni (South Sumatra, where ferries now connect Sumatra and Java), Probolinggo (the cruise gateway to Mt Bromo) and Banyuwangi in East Java. The local governments in these areas are planning to develop cruise facilities,” he said.

ITDC is also working with the Singapore Cruise Association to connect Singapore with cruise routes through South Sumatra, along Java, Bali, Lombok and Labuan Bajo (Komodo).

Apart from the terminal in Menjangan, there are plans to build a marina in ITDC’s Nusa Dua and Mandalika, Lombok projects, plus a terminal in Labuan Bajo.

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