The opening of Lombok-Perth direct flights led to the significant hike, NTB Governor Zulkieflimansyah said in Mataram Thursday.
Based on the data of the Lombok International Airport, 13,814 Australians landed at the airport between January and September 2019, an increase from 2,633 during the same period in the previous year.
"That is up 425 percent or fourfold compared to last year," he said.
The number of German tourists visiting the province also went up to 5,204 between January and September 2019, from 4,877 in the previous year's same period.
"The surge in Australian and German tourist arrivals was similar to the condition before NTB was affected by the August 2018 earthquake," he said.
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Based on the immigration data, the number of tourist arrivals between January and September 2019 reached 197,033, compared to 220,003 in last year's same period.
The slight decrease was due to the impact of a powerful earthquake that devastated NTB in August 2018. The number of Malaysian tourists significantly dropped to 25,811 from January to September 2019, from 66,156 in the same period in 2018.
Malaysia has contributed the largest number of tourists to the province. Hence, the NTB government should promote tourist attractions and packages suitable for that country's travelers.
The governor has also instructed the NTB tourist office to lobby various relevant parties for a direct flight between Lombok and Darwin, Australia.
"The distance between Darwin and Lombok is shorter than Darwin and Melbourne or Darwin and other cities in Australia. People of Darwin would prefer to spend a weekend in NTB rather than other Australian cities," he said.
"Direct flights between Singapore and Lombok, and Darwin and Lombok will be arranged by the tourist office head. It would need incentives. I ask the NTB tourism office to coordinate with other tourism stakeholders," he said.
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