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Indonesia is an emerging nation that offers many new and exciting opportunities for tourism investment and development. An article released by collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in the Republic of Indonesia and Indonesia Travel outlines some of the top prospects in the country. Here’s the verdict…

 1. Tanjung Lesung, Banten province, JAVA

This area is approximately 1500 hectares and is accessible by land and sea. By road you can reach it from Soekarno, where an international airport is located, and Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. From sea it can be reached in four hours from both Ancol Marina and Pantai Mutiara, and in one hour from Carita.

Investment opportunities lie in the development of an all-in-one city resort that encompasses residential and leisure components as well as infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and other medical facilities. The resort should also feature hotel facilities and other commercial and retail features.

2. Wakatobi Regency, Southeast Sulawesi province, TUKANGBESI ISLANDS

With a total area of 3500 hectares, there are a lot of opportunities for investment in this region. These include the development of an international airport, which in turn opens up a whole new platter of options. Other investment options include both managed residential estates and village based land residential, hotel and serviced accommodation, entertainment and leisure facilities including retail and restaurant developments, beachfront development sites and finally an extensive marine protected area.

The region is currently accessed by daily Jetfoil services that depart from Kendari and Makassar and regular passenger ferry services between the islands of Wakatobi.


The breathtaking Wakatobi area of the Tukangbesi Islands via topindonesianholidays.com

3. Bugam Raya, central of Kalimantan province, BORNEO

Most developments of this 105,500 km2 area revolve around its proximity to the water. Investment opportunities include the creation of a transport junction between Keraya and Sebuai. These include inter-island ferry, river ferry and cruise ship terminals, as well as super-yacht and cruise yacht marinas. The development of a luxury waterfront tourist district is also an option – this would include restaurants, shops and leisure and entertainment facilities for holidaymakers. There is also the opportunity for the introduction of eco-friendly golf courses, animal parks, water parks aimed at families and other leisure facilities. Floating hotels are also an option at this location.

The region is serviced by regular flights from international airport Soekarno Hatta, and also by sea from the port facilities at the Kumai riverfront.

4. Mandalika Resort, Lombok, WEST NUSA TENGGARA

The 1250 hectares of Mandalika Resort Lombok offers the opportunity for a multitude of investments. These include an upmarket hotel, condotels and villa compounds as well as wellness and medical facilities. A commercial and retail centre allows for shops, food and beverage outlets and business space. The resort allows space for extensive land/sea sports and activities including two eighteen-hole golf courses and the associated facilities. Gated residential and retirement communities are also opportunity for this development. For entertainment, facilities such as family attractions, museums and galleries, as well as convention facilities and performance venues are another prospect. In addition to all of this, surface infrastructure and transportation facilities including a port are both essential for the success of the project.

The resort is accessible by road from Lombok International Airport, as well as from Bali by boat, stopping at the Gili Isles.

5. Bono Tidal River Bore, Riau province, SUMATRA

The idea behind this development is to introduce an environmentally conscious tourism and residential hub that consists of a range of hotels that range in size and quality from three to five stars. The development would also feature more permanent living spaces with a residential estate and retirement housing all opportunities for this space. The retirement housing is proposed to house active retirees who are encouraged to participate in activities and projects that benefit the surrounding community. Aside from living space, the region has the opportunity for high-end features like spas and natural safari-style amusement parks. The riverfront has the potential for a boardwalk that could feature leisure and entertainment facilities aimed at a family market and both conference and convention facilities. One other opportunity for the development is the formation of an ethnic village, which would feature boutique hotels and restaurants that are built within the traditional Riau style.

This development is accessed by road from the international airport in Pekanberu, capital of Riau. This airport receives flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, as well as domestic flights from Jakarta, Padang, Kuala Namu, Batam and other local airports. There is also the opportunity for seaplane services from Batam.

Investing in Bono Tidal River Bore

Bono Tidal River Bore in Sumatra via surfertoday.com

6. Tobasa Regency, North Sumatra province, SUMATRA

A regional district plan for tourism has outlined various waterfront and inland locations as potential sites for development. These areas have been divided up into individual portions that are available for investment by private sector investors for the development of ecologically sensitive projects. These project opportunities include the development of 3–7 star hotels, a ‘living history’ village of hotels and restaurants that are built with traditional Batak style houses, a waterfront promenade featuring family friendly leisure and entertainment facilities and a hotel village with the theme of a safari park.

The development sites are accessed from the Silangit Airport, which is a 40-minute flight from Kualanamu International Airport. There is also a ferry port, which can be used to cross from Parapat to Samosir Island.

 7. MAN marine tourism triangle, Maluku province, MALUKU ISLANDS

Investment opportunities lie in the expansion of the existing village and its associated infrastructure as well as new developments such as:

– Boat harbour, especially for fishing and its associated fish processing and storage facilities, as well as seaweed drying and processing facilities.

– A chief yacht marina and moorings, complete with land-side accommodation in various sizes and qualities, restaurants and other food and drink outlets, arts and crafts facilities, a sports and recreation club aimed at families and maintenance and fuel facilities.

– Luxury hotel facilities in a resort format complete with individual single and multi room villas, business centre, food and drink outlets and well-equipped health and spa facilities.

– Main and supplementary jetties for the arrival of air and sea vehicles, as well as the associated facilities built to put up speedboats, ferries, floatplanes and helicopters.

The area available to develop spreads across two islands, the 474-hectare Matakus Island, which is inhabited, and the 100-hectare Nustabun Island, which is uninhabited.

The proposed development site is by two large ferries that service the area in combination with other sea craft, which allows access from its neighbours. International access will be available by plane once an international airport proposed for Saumlaki is completed.

 8. Samosir Regency, North Sumatra province, SUMATRA

There are three areas that are available for development. The first of these is the Aek Natonang area, which is a 94-hectare elevated rolling area. The site has a 14-hectare lake and is bordered on the south by protected rainforest. The second is the Lagundi area, which is 28 hectares, and the last is the Sigulatti area.

The investment opportunities for Samosir Regency can be divided by area:

Aek Natonang area: Individual parcels of land are available to private sector entities for environmentally sensitive development. This development includes hotels that vary in size and stars (from three to five), luxury spas, a managed residential domain, nature/safari style theme park, retirement housing, water-based tourism facilities and lakeside conference and convention facilities. In addition to this there is the opportunity for a ‘living history’ style village that houses boutique hotels and restaurants in traditional Batak style houses and gathering spaces. Finally there is the option for a lakefront boardwalk aimed at family style leisure and entertainment.

Lagundi area: This area is ideally suited for sustainable residential hotels and camping areas, both supported by a traditional village that provides the services and water sports facilities necessary. Active retirees in this area are also encouraged to take part in projects that make use of their skills and benefit the wider community.

Sigullatti area: A proposal for UNESCO recognition of the regency cluster and the protected forest surrounding Lake Toba and the island of Samosir is currently being prepared. Investors interested in this area are encouraged to move into public-private development agreements that will create naming rights for the formations set to be incorporated into the Geo-Park agreement.

9. Mekaki Bay, Lombok, WEST NUSA TENGGARA

Located two hours away from Lombok International Airport, Mekaki holds the opportunity for the development of a sustainable tourist hub. The 200-hectare area could potentially feature hotel and resort facilities as well as theme parks and other forms of entertainment.


The region available for development is a 300–500 hectare area, which is serviced by several daily flights from Soekarno airport. It is also accessible by road; it is a three-hour trip by public transport from Mentok to Pangkalpinang, the capital of Kepulauan Bangka Belitung. Finally, there are ships from Jakarta and Jetfoil from Palembang that also provide access from the sea.

 11. Sabang, Aceh province, SUMATRA

The area available for investment covers five different locations with the total area coming to 100 hectares. The area possesses the potential for the following investment opportunities: port service as well as infrastructure for port in the form of a marina, a green power plant, golf courses and associated facilities, restaurants with international and local cuisine, hotels, bungalows, resorts, jungle land and the facilities required to make the destination a cruise destination.

Sabang is accessible from Sultan Iskander Muda International Airport. The region is also reached by sea, the most common route being Banda Aceh to Sabang by either passenger or cargo ship, and these operate daily.

12. Medan Bay, Lombok, WEST NUSA TENGGARA

Investment opportunities for Medan Bay include the development of a financial model with projections of the construction of a mid-rise apartment block or hotel, a 4-star hotel and a Parkland villa area. There is also the opportunity to develop recreation and service facilities, and these could include hotel swimming pools (main and junior), a playground aimed at children, badminton and tennis courts, retail shops and service outlets, hire cars, trekking and hiking guides, a shaded beachside area that is safe for families, a health clinic (a branch of the SOS Medika International), spa and fitness facilities, jet ski hire, and a bar and clubhouse.

The 74-hectare area is accessible by Lombok International Airport, and from there it is a 90-minute drive to Medan Bay. As well as this the destination is accessible by boat. Ferries join Medan Bay to West Sumbawa and Padang Bai in Bali. A fast boat devoted to Medan Bay travels between the area and Bali with a two-hour travel time.

 13. Bintan Island, Kepulauan Riau province, RIAU ISLANDS

Investment opportunities for this 3500-hectare area include prime beachfront resorts, tranquil resort homes, retail spaces, spa facilities, a golf course and a retirement village.

Access to Bintan Island is by air, road and sea. An airport, which lies 35 minutes from Lagoi Bay, serves Bintan Island; this is regularly serviced by domestic flights from major Indonesian cities and privately chartered jets. The region then lies a further 35 minutes from Lagoi Bay. The area can also be accessed by speedboat from Telaga Punggur ferry terminal, and also by specially chartered boats, which can depart from Nongsa ferry terminal and Batam.

Bintan Island

Bintan Island via yebber.com

14. Anambas Archipelago, Riau Island province, RIAU ISLANDS

The regency administration has recognised the beaches and islands of Anambas Archipelago as key sites for development. Individual beachfront parcels or islands are available for the investment of private sector entities. These investors have the go-ahead for the eco-sensitive development of temporary and permanent living spaces in the form of small boutique hotels (ranging from three to five stars), managed residential estates and a ‘living history’ ethnic village with boutique hotels and restaurants built within traditional fishing village–style housing and gathering spaces. The development also has the opportunity for waterfront entertainment in the form of a boardwalk aimed at family leisure and entertainment, conference and convention facilities and water-based tourism and sporting facilities. Finally, the development has the potential for stilt building on the water’s edge or upon piers that are extended into the water.

The Anambas Archipelago is accessible by Turboprop planes from Tanjung Pinang, Bintan and Batam six days a week. Twice a month water taxis and ferries connect Matak to Tarempa, the capital of the regency, and a high-speed ferry makes this trip three times a week. Anambas also sits on regional cruise ship corridors that link Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong. The area may in the future house a terminal for mid-size cruise ships.

15. Tanjung Ringgit, West Nusa Tenggara province & Eight Islands, SUMBAWA

The area available for investment can be broken up into Tanjung Ringgit, which has 400 hectares, and Eight Islands, which has an area of 20,000 hectares.

This area has the opportunity to feature beachfront eco-resorts and hotels as well as eco-homes and villas that have a focus on sustainability. The region also has the potential for the introduction of marinas, transportation infrastructure and facilities and renewable energy generation, as well as recreational facilities such as dive and water sports centres, wellness centres, restaurants and bars. There is also the possibility for investment into medical, commercial and retail centres.

Tanjung Ringgit is accessed by Lombok International Airport – the region lies 1.5 hours from the airport via road. Access is also available by boat; it is twenty minutes from Telongelong to Tanjung Ringgit and approximately one hour to Eight Islands.

Feature image of Belitung Islands via peepindonesia.com