Students from China’s top School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai campus, Guangdong have just returned from a field study trip to Singapore, Bali and Lombok island. The 19 students were led by Dr Fleur Fallon, and Dr Zhao Ying. Dr Fallon has been to Lombok many times and in 2002, completed her doctoral thesis on “Tourism interrupted: the challenge of sustainability for Lombok island 1987-2001” with the University of New England, Australia.
In 2013, more than 387,000 mainland Chinese arrived in Bali, making the Chinese market the second largest in Bali, after Australia. More Chinese are starting to make the journey to Lombok, and the students will act as honorary ambassadors for Nusa Tenggara Barat tourism.
Crossing the Lombok Straits by fast boat from Bali, some students then adventured by local pirahu to Gili Meno and Gili Air to snorkel for the first time and see the colourful fish, while others explored the local beaches, restaurants and Art Market at Senggigi.
Meeting the vice-governor of Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) Pak H. Muh. Amin, tourism officials and local students from the University of Mataram , eating and singing at a local taliwang restaurant for the mid-Autumn Festival were highlights. There was one last adventure, visiting pottery and weaving villages and the pure beach at Mawun in the south, before flying out from the new airport.
The student leader Zou Zhijian (Justin) said, “We love the unique architecture, the harmony between Hindu religion and daily life in Bali. We love the natural beaches and relaxed pace of as well as the attractive city sights, museums and events of Singapore.”
“ We can recommend Singapore and Bali as a holiday destination for families and couples. Lombok is for the more adventurous seeking close contact with nature in the sea and in the mountains. For the vision of MICE island development, we would like to see more attention paid to infrastructure –roads, footpaths, plastic waste management, traffic management and more signage, brochures and menus in Chinese in Indonesia.”
“We are the internet generation, so WIFI connectivity is important for us, and therefore up-to-date and easy to find information on the internet is critical for Chinese destination decision-making – for business, education or for leisure. We also welcome Indonesian students to China to learn more about our language and culture.”
“For some of us, this was the first time to go overseas. Each destination we visited has its special attractions. Next year we will study in Angers, France. We will remember to be ambassadors for tourism to Singapore, and to Indonesia, especially Bali and Lombok islands. We also hope the promotion of the 200th anniversary of the eruption of Mount Tambora in Sumbawa will attract not only Jackie Chan, the official ambassador for Chinese tourism to Indonesia, but also many more Chinese with a deep passion and respect for exploring nature- both the mountains and the sea of Nusa Tenggara Barat –‘indah sekali’”
The story was published in The Lombok Guide (Issue 178, 13 October 2014).
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See also stm.sysu.edu.cn/en/news/8952.htm
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