Fast boat services have begun serving routes from Sanur and Nusa Penida directly to the southern beach area of Mandalika on the island of Lombok.
“This is a new breakthrough. It’s an alternative to planes for tourists who want to go directly to Mandalika,” said West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Governor Zulkieflimansyah.
The presence of fast boats can help tourists from Bali who want to go to Lombok. The sea transportation option is much cheaper than flights, which can cost upwards of Rp1million. With a fast boat, the travel time for tourists from Bali becomes faster.
According to Zulkieflimansyah, the fast boat service has come at the right moment. The 2022 World Superbike (WSBK) race will be held at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit on 11-13th November.
“Spectators from Bali can more easily access the WSBK race. This can also boost the number of tourist visits to Mandalika,” he said.
The governor went on to say that the Bali-Mandalika Lombok fast boat route must be supported by all parties. He believes this new breakthrough will boost tourism to Lombok.
“If something is lacking, it is repaired, completed. What is certain is that this must be supported by all parties,” said Zulkieflimansyah.
The Bali-Lombok transportation connectivity was opened about one week ago. It is facilitated by the startup company JTrip Indonesia, which serves the Bali-Lombok crossing using fast boats.
“We have served more than 570 tourists since the beginning of operations,” said Putu Suciawan from JTrip Indonesia.
Every day, fast boats bound for Mandalika carry 150 tourists. The boats depart from Sanur and Nusa Penida in Bali and are anchored at the floating pier in Kuta in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Mandalika.
Suciawan said that, so far, the interest of tourists to travel by sea to Mandalika is quite high. The attraction is not only because of the existence of the Pertamina Mandalika Circuit, but also the beauty of its tourist destinations that are becoming increasingly well known.
However, the problem is accessibility. So far, tourists from Bali who want to go to Mandalika must fly. Even with short flight times, travel to and waiting at the airport is off-putting, followed by the need to drive from the airport to Mandalika.
The existence of fast boats gives alternatives to tourists and reduces costs of a visit to the island. “The fast boat only takes 2.5 hours. A ticket costs around Rp450,000,” he said.
Suciawan said that the opening of the fast boat route to Mandalika did not mean that it would disrupt the rhythm of tourists heading to Gili Trawangan, Meno, and Air in North Lombok. On the contrary, tourists who go to Mandalika may be more likely to visit the other three islands, too.
“Indeed, with more and easier access to transportation, more tourists can come,” said Putu.