Bintan Resorts unveils ambitious growth plans, visitor targets

Doulos Phos, The Ship Hotel

Bolstered by record arrivals last year, Bintan Resorts has unveiled a slew of new hardware developments with the aim of doubling its room inventory by 2021 and tripling visitor numbers by 2023.

Frans Gunara, executive director, Gallant Ventures, parent company of Bintan Resorts, said at a media briefing earlier this week: “In 2018, we crossed the one million visitor mark for the first time. This is a 18.4 per cent year-on-year growth.”

Among the upcoming attractions are the Treasure Bay Bintan Organic Farm (opening 2Q2019) and the 2.8-ha Marine Life Discovery Park (opening 4Q2019), while soon-to-open hotels include an as-yet-unnamed glamping tepee-style tent hotel (opening 2Q2019) and Doulos Phos, The Ship Hotel.

The glamping-style hotel will open with 40 keys, but will carry 100 keys upon completion.

Set for a June opening is Doulos Phos, The Ship Hotel, a 104-cabin hotel located within the 130m-long, 104-year-old MV Doulos passenger ship beside the Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal. This property will boast resort-like facilities – built on the land that surrounds the ship – spanning a swimming pool, spa complex, all-day-diner, as well as a maritime museum.

The new additions will boost Bintan Resorts’ inventory from its current 2,000 keys to 4,000 keys by 2021, Gunara added.

A new airport currently under construction will feature a 3km-long runway suitable for widebody aeroplanes, something the current airport cannot accommodate.

Gunara added that Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, and Lion Air are already onboard, and the company is in talks with other airlines such as Korean Air to fly to Bintan.

“By the time the airport is ready, just from the airport alone, we’re looking at a million visitors alone. If volume goes up, a second runway will be built. Our end target is three million international visitors by 2023,” Gunara told TTG Asia.

“We are also confident that Bintan Resorts can contribute significantly to the 20 million international visitors target that the Indonesian ministry of tourism set out for 2020,” added Gunara.

Other upcoming developments that will soon break ground include the Chiva-Som Resort and Wellness Centre (opening 3Q2022), as well as branded international hotels such as Hotel Indigo, Novotel and Four Points by Sheraton.

The island is also using sporting events to draw more visitors to the island. In addition to the Bintan Triathlon and Ironman 70.3 Bintan, Bintan Resorts will be hosting the second edition of the International Bintan Marathon later this year from September 7-8.

When asked about Bintan’s growth trajectory, Peter Lee, director of One Adventure, a Singapore-based wholesaler who has been selling Bintan for 25 years, shared with TTG Asia: “I think Bintan will keep on growing, especially with all the new resorts coming up, as well as the newly-created attractions.”

But with Bintan facing competition from regional destinations “as airfare promotions (elsewhere) can sometimes be much lower”, Lee pointed out that it’s “necessary to create new resorts and activities to create the awareness”.

Overall, the domestic market is still Bintan’s largest at 40 per cent, with the next two being the Chinese market at 24 per cent, while Singaporeans make up 18 per cent.

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