TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An issue about the separation of hiking and camping areas for male and female hikers in Mount Rinjani, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) has gained much public attention, especially on social media. The plan emerged since Lombok administration determined to support halal tourism.
The head of Mount Rinjani National Park Agency (TNGR), Sudiyono, clarified the issue. "As for the plan to separate camping areas for male and female hikers in TNGR areas that will likely causes public controversy. We'd like to say that we will not implement the program because it's not a priority of TNGR," said Sudiyono in a written statement.
Nevertheless, he added that TNGR supported halal tourism initiated by NTB provincial government. "We're now focusing on improving the hiking management, especially the e-ticketing, waste management, and renovation of facility and infrastructure in hiking trails," he added.
Sudiyono hoped that the polemic about the separation would not continue becuase it will affect Indonesia's tourism sector. As reported previously, both Indonesia and Malaysia perched high ranking as the best destination of halal tourism in 2019, according to Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI).
Additionally, the Indonesia Muslim Travel Index (IMTI) named Lombok as the top national halal tourism destination for two consecutive years, followed by Aceh, Riau Islands, Jakarta, and West Sumatra.
Hiking trails of Mount Rinjani has been reopened starting June 14, 2019, following the closure due to Lombok earthquake in August 2018. Yet, hikers are barred from reaching the mountain peak and Segara Anak, but only until Pelawangan.