10 Tourist Destinations Offered with Govt Airfare Discounts

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  • A view of Labuan Bajo's first and largest MICE venue, Inaya Bay. Doc. Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry

    A view of Labuan Bajo's first and largest MICE venue, Inaya Bay. Doc. Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaFollowing the widespread effects caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which hit hard on the global tourism industry, has pushed the Indonesian government to issue incentive packages for 10 tourist destinations to invigorate the domestic tourism industry. 

    The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio recently said the incentives include up to 30 percent airfare discounts to travel to these 10 destinations. 

    The discounts, however, will only be available for 25 percent seats in each flight destined for the following destinations from March up to May 2020.

    Here are the 10 tourist destinations incentivized by the government:

    Denpasar

    A number of students pray together during the Saraswati Day in honor of the Hindu goddess of knowledge in Denpasar, Bali, Saturday, May 11. ANTARA

    Denpasar is Bali’s entrance gate for tourists who intend to explore the island known as the island of the Gods or Dewata Island. Despite its popularity, Bali remains one of those islands that still have its hidden gems yearning to be discovered. For a start, Denpasar offers tourists a unique urban experience for those who enjoy hanging out with friends but with the Sanur Beach just a stone's throw away for a brief escape from the urban environment. 

    Not far from Denpasar, there is the ancient Hindu pilgrimage Pura Tanah Lot that often holds mesmerizing festivals such as the Odalan Festival, which is a ritual ahead of the Galungan and Kuningan celebrations. Surfers can also ride a few waves at Serangan Island.

    Batam

    Montigo Resorts Nongsa, Batam, Riau Archipelago.

    Batam is the closest Indonesian city to Singapore, which comes as no surprise when it is one of the favorite destinations for tourists from Singapore and Malaysia. This city offers tourist destinations such as the white sands Nongsa Beach that can be reached in 10-minutes from the airport. For shoppers, Batam also offers the Batam City Square with a plethora of family entertainment and the 40-hectare Ocarina Park that was opened in 2008. 

    Bintan

    Tourists pose for photos at the Sahara desert replica at Bintan, Riau Islands. TEMPO/Yogi Eka Sahputra

    Bintan Island in the Riau archipelago is an exclusive resort that houses hidden beaches waiting to be discovered, Indonesia’s greatest golf courses, and the Lagoi Beach that once hosted an international triathlon event that Singaporeans love to visit. Bintan is nearby Penyengat Island, known for its historic value as the hub where Islam spread in the edge of Sumatra and houses the magnificent Sultan Riau Mosque that took 40-years to build. 

    The newly opened Natra Bintan hotel is a significant development, as it overlooks Crystal Lagoons’ first man-made crystalline lagoon in Southeast Asia.

    Manado 

    Chairwoman of the Indonesian Women Divers (WASI) Tri Tito Karnavian holds the Indonesian flag at Manado Bay to break the Guinness World Record in August 2019. Photo: WASI

    Manado is one of Indonesia’s main marine tourisms that houses the diving-haven Bunaken National Park, established in 1991. This area consists of the 97-percent sea while the rest are islands such as the Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage, Naen, and Siladen. Manado is the gateway to the super-priority tourist site Likupang that boasts its 200-hectare white sand beach. 

    Yogyakarta 

    The face of the revitalized Malioboro in Yogyakarta meant to showcase ancient architectures of the New Indies, Chinese, and Javanese. TEMPO/PRIBADI WICAKSONO

    Yogyakarta is currently in the midst of boosting its south coast tourist destination developments. The south sea coast is home to a large variety of beaches. This city is also known for its historical values in culture as it is also the home of the Batik industry and creative, modern and traditional trinkets. 

    Labuan Bajo 

    Labuan Bajo is slated for its refreshed identity as a meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition (MICE) destination. Apart from its fame as the gate to enter the renowned Komodo National Park, where the ancient giant Komodos live, it also has one of the best marine sceneries. Labuan Bajo is also set to host the G20 and ASEAN Summit which will both be held in 2023. 

    Belitung 

    Lengkuas Island's 100-year old lighthouse. Doc. Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

    Belitung is an island in the Bangka Belitung Province that rose to stardom and gained immense popularity after the location was the main setting in the novel Laskar Pelangi, which was adapted to a movie under the same name. Apart from that, this area hones beautiful beaches with dramatic views as most are white-sand beaches with gigantic rocks. The most known islands in Belitung are Lepar, Pongok, Mendanau, and Nasik Strait. It also has a protected forest known as Batu Mentas. 

    Lombok

    The Segara Anak Lake viewed from the Aik Berik trekking trail in Central Lombok. Photo: Deradjad Ananto

    Lombok is slated as the future Bali. It is also the location set to host a MotoGP race in 2021 and showcase its international-standard Mandalika GP street circuit, which will further popularize the already renowned tourist destination. Lombok is also the location of the Mount Rinjani National Geopark that has been acknowledged as one of the world’s biosphere reserves. 

    Lake Toba  

    The view of the western part of Lake Toba. TEMPO | Iil Askar Mondza

    Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia, which is also the largest caldera that was formed after the ancient Toba volcanic eruption which also formed the Samosir Island in its center. The depth of this lake reportedly reaches 500-kilometers that is surrounded by seven districts. Hiking the Holbung Hill is one of the options to enjoy Lake Toba’s landscape apart from the Bukit Indah Simarjarunjung hill located in Simalungun. 

    Malang 

    Malang is similar to Bandung for its surrounding areas that boast a plethora of culinary options, historical sites, and rich culture. This is an option for those yearning to go on an urban adventure with the Malang City Alun-Alun (square) that is surrounded by cultural heritage buildings. It also is home to the colorful village in the Brantas riverside. You can also travel 17-kilometers from Malang to Batu City to enjoy its nature and dwell in sceneries that involve mountainous views and waterfalls. 

    So, these are the 10 tourist destinations you can visit by utilizing the airfare discounts the Indonesian government has made available from March to May of 2020. 

    LUDHY CAHYANA