That was the message from a strong Wonderful Indonesia contingent at the Flight Centre Travel Expo in Christchurch on Sunday. Sara Sanders, general manager of Puri Mas on Lombok says the destination will appeal to New Zealanders and is one of the 10 places on the Ministry of Tourism’s ‘going beyond Bali’ list. She was exhibiting alongside David Roberts, director of Mahama Resort on one of the Gili Islands – another accessible destination that she says should be recommended to clients.
‘People can take direct flights to Singapore and then fly straight to Lombok with Singapore Airlines. Or they can fly out of Auckland to Bali and it is easy to reach both the Gilis and Lombok from there. ‘Agents need to give clients more options – Indonesia is not Bali and each Indonesian island has its own characteristics’.’ Sanders says less touristed areas can offer a more genuine experience. ‘A traffic jam in Lombok is a horse and cart in your way.’ She says the Gilis are between Bali and Lombok and can be reached from Lombok in about half an hour by boat. ‘People can stay a night or two but it is also ideal as a day trip.’