East Nusa Tenggara makes a beeline for domestic markets

Recognising the power of the domestic travel market in enabling business recovery, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) tourism stakeholders conducted their first local sales mission to Bali, Bandung and Jakarta this month.

Rocky Pekujawang, the head of NTT Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD), said the sales missions to Jakarta and Bali also helped to reignite international tourist demand, as both cities are gateways for foreign travellers.

East Nusa Tenggara offers adventure and outdoor activities; Kelor Island pictured

“There are now three airlines offering direct flights from Jakarta to Labuan Bajo,” said Rocky.

BPPD offered adventure and outdoor activities, such as hiking, trekking, and snorkelling, as well as packages that would enable travellers to experience a mix of activities. Prices start from 7.8 million rupiah (US$548) per pax. A 4D3N programme by Flobamor Tours, for example, entices travellers to set sail on a Phinisi ship to visit Kelor island for snorkelling and Padar island for hiking.

Rocky shared that BPPD is also in talks with the NTT chapter of the Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) for potential collaboration on camper van packages.

Abed Frans, chairman of NTT chapter of ASITA, said camper van travel suited the characteristics of tourist destinations in NTT.

He added that his association and the Java Overland community recently hit the road in camper vans, driving from Maumere to Labuan Bajo, to test the feasibility of the package.

If all goes to plan, the camper van packages will launch in June 2022, with departures from Kupang for a Timor Island trip and Tambolaka for Sumba Island trip.

From Tambolaka in Southwest Sumba regency, for example, travellers can explore Waingapu and visit various natural attractions, such as Savana Hiliwuku Hill – known among the locals as Teletubbies Hill.

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