Bali Cruises as Ramadhan Bites Lombok

Bali Cruises as Ramadhan Bites Lombok

LEGIAN

Bali again led Indonesia’s hotel-room occupancy race in August, on figures just released by BPS, the central statistics agency, recording 60.67 percent in star-rated hotels. Figures for September, which will include the national Lebaran holiday period, are expected to be sharply higher.

But the August “high season” for tourism was depressed elsewhere in Indonesia by the month coinciding with Ramadhan, the lunar month of fasting for Muslims that this year began on August 11.

Lombok’s August room occupancy figures fell 14 percent year on year, to only 44 percent. Lombok Hotels Association chairman Marcel Navest told The Bali Times Western tourists’ perception of Ramadhan — that it virtually closed down Lombok — was to blame.

“There is no reason to stay away because food is still available in all tourism areas, which is the main concern of Westerners,” he said this week.

Ramadhan next year will start on August 1. Navest said of Lombok’s prospects: “I expect next year’s high season to be even worse than this year.”

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