Feature: Tourism in Indonesia's quake-hit Lombok starts recovery

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-12 00:11:20|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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by Abu Hanifah

MATARAM, Indonesia, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Hotels in Indonesia's Lombok resort beach of Senggigi damaged by a recent 7.0-magnitude quake have planned to reopen as soon as possible to attract and serve tourists.

Most of the hotels in the west coast town of Senggigi, popular among tourists, have been closed for repairs after Sunday's deadly quake. These hotels sustained various damages from cracks in the walls to tilting-near-collapse.

Lombok's tourism industry has experienced from "high season to nothing" after the deadly quake. Once-bustling villages have been turned into virtual ghost towns and the tourism businessmen such as hotel owners have incurred heavy loss in the usually busiest months of the year.

Risk from possible more quakes is also part of the dire situation faced by hotel owners in Senggigi.

Andry, owner of Central Inn near a Senggigi popular resort, estimated that his losses from the earthquake may reach around 3 billion rupiah (about 207,000 U.S. dollars).

Some luxury rooms built last year were destroyed by the quake, he told Xinhua on Friday while supervising workers cleaning up debris.

According to Andry, electricity supplies in hotels started to resume after the network fixing works were carried out by workers of state power firm of PLN two days after the earthquake.

Andry still has no idea so far on what should he do with the damaged luxury rooms as the there are cracks on the walls in all sides.

"My focus now is to tidy remaining intact rooms, provide service for tourists who hopefully will still come here during the current peak season," Andry added.

With the fixing works in Senggigi hotels, efforts are also made to recover power supply and clean the popular small three islands off Senggigi beach.

Coordinated by the Indonesia Tourism Ministry, rebuilding efforts in those islands are jointly carried out by the Indonesian military, police and PLN.

Thousands of foreign tourists had been stranded for several days in Lombok's Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air islands after the quake.

Joint operations carried out by related institutions have evacuated the trapped foreign tourists and transported them to mainland Lombok island and adjacent Bali with vessels.

The joint efforts to ensure recovery of electricity and tourism accommodations in those three islands much-favored by foreign tourists are directly supervised by the Indonesian police chief and the military commander.

The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation have also provided boats to help foreign tourists as shuttle boats between islands have not resumed operation.

Indonesia Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that those efforts were part of the government's initiative to ensure comfort and safety of foreign tourists after the earthquake in Lombok in a bid to save tourism industry in Indonesia's award-winning island.

Lombok has won several awards in international tourism competition in the past several years.

The 7.0-magnitude quake and aftershocks have killed 387 people, injured 13,688 and displaced 387,067 people, according to Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency Spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho on Saturday.

The death toll may rise further as many bodies were still trapped under the ruins of buildings, said Sutopo.