Friday, October 12, 2018

LOMBOK: HALAL TOURISM


Geographically, the island of Lombok is located in the golden triangle of the main tourism destinations in Indonesia, namely Bali in the West, Tana Toraja and Bunaken in the North and Komodo in the East. Being at the crossroads of several international shipping lines Lombok is also positioned as a transit point for sailing boats and yachts. Besides, West of Lombok runs the Wallace line, the flora and fauna “watershed” between Asia and Australia. Consequently, Lombok is home to unique species of flora and fauna, different from the Western part of Indonesia. The “Sasak” are the native tribe of Lombok, covering more than two-thirds of the island. There are also other tribes, such as Samawa and Mbojo from the island of Sumbawa. Small populations of Balinese, Chinese and Arab have inhabited the island of Lombok for hundreds of years.
Lombok has two contrasting parts of nature, Northern and Central Lombok are green and fertile compared to the South as they are strongly influenced by the presence of Mount Rinjani. With an altitude of 3.726 M the Rinjani is the second highest summit of Indonesia. In drier Southern Lombok the white sand beaches extend from East to West. The hilly contour of Southern Lombok creates beautiful reliefs with uniquely shaped bays. Here the diverse beach and ocean landcape features some marvelous surfing spots and other water sports facilities. In addition, Southern Lombok also is home to traditional Sasak villages which still cultivate the traditions of their ancestors.
Know as “island of thousand mosques”, Lombok is increasingly becoming one of the most popular domestic and international tourist destinations in Indonesia. This gives the island ample opportunities to manage and develop its potentials of tourism. Lombok as one of the islands in Indonesia is well known for its natural attraction. There are several tourism sites can find in Lombok. Some of them are coastal tourism, the beauty of Lombok underwater, mountain climbing and historical tour. Tourism site in Lombok is not less attracting than Bali which has been the most prominent destinations of Indonesia tourism. There are some attractive destinations in Lombok such as Senggigi Beach, Gili Trawangan and Rinjani Mountain.
Indonesia government saw Lombok tourism potential and want to develop it towards halal tourism to attract more foreign tourists, especially Muslim populated countries. This effort is supported by the Indonesia government with the acceleration of development on the island of Lombok. The effort made Lombok in 2015 is awarded with two awards (the 1st World’s Best Halal Honeymoon Destination and the 1st World’s Best Halal Tourism Destination) and two awards more in 2016 (the 1st World’s Best Halal Honeymoon Destination and the 1st World’s Best Halal Tourism Destination) from World Halal Tourism Award. Many tourists often continue their trip to Lombok from Bali due to its proximity to Bali and its relatively cheap transportation by ferry or plane. It is common to hear the people of Lombok saying that “when you are in Lombok, you can see both Bali and Lombok”.
West Lombok Nusa Tenggara has many spiritual destination to visit. Spiritual destination for Sasak tribe has at least two meanings, first, go sight seeing to decrease burden or free from daily routinity and secondly, the spiritual destination was aimed at remembering efforts of many Muslim people who had preached Islam at Lombok hundreds years ago. The tombs or cemeteries of those people were visited and then called with spiritual tourism. There are three popular spiritual destinations at West Lombok, i.e Loang Baloq, Bintaro dan Batu Layar. Many people come to that place to symbolize two relations of human being, namely good relation with Allah and good relation with other. Based on reality that those spiritual tourism destination are always crowd of people any time. West Lombok government should to manage those sacred places as well as possible. The best way to realize Muslim spiritual tourism in Lombok it is by cooperating of  West Lombok society with local government.

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