Praya, Lombok Tengah (ANTARA) - The West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) provincial government targets tourist visits, both domestic and international, to reach 2.5 million in 2024.

"The target for tourist visits is two million and has been exceeded, so the 2024 target is increased to 2.5 million tourists," Head of the West Nusa Tenggara Provincial Tourism Office, Jamaludin Malady, remarked here on Friday.

He noted that with the target of tourist visits, the NTB provincial government has launched various activities to increase tourist visits in 2024.

However, the high price of tickets to Lombok is currently posing a problem that is often raised by tourists to enjoy the beauty of various tourist destinations in NTB.

"The NTB provincial government has targeted the number of tourist visits for 2024 to reach 2.5 million," Malady remarked.

With regard to addressing the issue of high ticket prices, the central government is expected to intervene and provide subsidies for direct flights to Lombok from other countries.

"Given the existing financial state of the NTB provincial government, subsidizing cannot be done," Malady stated.

His side urged the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs (Marves) to inform the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub) that the NTB government needed direct flights.

“Not necessarily from all countries but quite possibly from Australia or from the Middle East. We convey this because these are all policies of the central government, not the regions, " he stated.

He admitted that several airlines that require the contribution of the regional government by the NTB provincial government had, in fact, made efforts, including by meeting Air Asia. Regarding the 2023 flight, the local government was urged to provide a subsidy of Rp5 billion (around US$32 million) per month.

At the time, the hospitality industry planned to donate Rp5 billion. The airline was looking to be paid immediately for three months and not just a month.

"Therefore, the solution currently lies with the central government. We ask for help to be given subsidies because if the province has not been able to provide a budget," Malady added.

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Translator: Akhyar Rosidi, Yuni Arisandy
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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