LOMBOK TRAVEL GUIDE – My Lombok recently sat down with Taufan Rahmadi, to learn more about the unique “hands-on” approach to tourism promotion, harnessing the skills of social media savvy locals.
For those of us who live, work and enjoy life in Lombok, the recent global soptlight that has descended on the island is long overdue. It is the culmination of numerous small tourism promotion initiatives that are now finally paying off. Awards for the World’s Best Halal Tourism Destinations and the World’s Best Halal Honeymoon Destination received last year at the World Halal Travel Summit in Abu Dhabi is a real feather in the cap for Lombok and provides as springboard for even bigger and better things.
Arguably for the first time, there is now a real commitment for national tourism leaders to promote Lombok as a world class destination, and not just as a halal travel hotspot. So what is next for Lombok as a tourism brand? My Lombok Magz recently sat down with Taufan Rahmadi, Chariman of West Nusa Tenggara Tourism Promotion Board.
From the very outset, Taufan has made it his mission to “create a wave“, and in doing so virtually transform the mindset of conventional tourism promotion. Despite its growing reputation, the NTB region’s tourism promotion budget is just a fraction of Bali’s. So these limited resources call for a much more creative approach, says Taufan.
The “wave” in question, Taufan says, in the “creative power that comes from social media, communications and importantly, bringin people together as destination ambassadors to promote the reion. People are the backbone of promotion. These are the tools of our trade”.
In just a few short months the “Wonderful Lombok Sumbawa” movement has attracted a small army of eager volunteers to help spread the word.
“We harness the energy of a growing army of savvy local people to volunteer and promote the region, as well as young people from other Indonesian regions and also from overseas, through social media postings, peer outreach and blogging”
This included many locals who have since left Lombok to work abroad and function as de facto tourism ambassadors for Lombok in key oversease markets such as Australia.
There is no salary on offer the these enthusiastic media foot soldiers yet it hasn’t stopped highly qualified people from getting involved in the project. Videographers, event planners, designers and even a university communications lecturer all give their hard earned free time to the cause. During our two-hour chat, I noticed a dozen or so young “ambassadors” sat in deep conversation brainstorming ideas and planning the latest promotional events.
It is a very simple strategy – primarily to engage with their peers through word-of-mouth, with social media influencers and tourism businesses in Lombok. All in meaningful, mutually beneficial wasy to showcase the NTB region the world.
This month they are conducting educational road shows at local schools across Lombok and Sumbawa. It’s never too early to “create a wave“.
You can sense Taufans’ unwavering commitment for the Lombok Sumbawa brand and if anything, it proves that with the right approach and a creative mindset, it doesn’t always take big bucks to make a difference.
In the last year he has been able to negotiate high value, free exposure for Lombok and Sumbawa with in-flight video screenings across the entire Garuda Indonesia route network (including an unique Lombok focused “catwalk in the sky” show) and a marketing partnership with telkomsel, reaching the company’s millions of users across Indonesia.
He says the double victory at the World Halal Travel Summit and the resulting media exposure reached an estimated 19 million people. This apparently all came about simply from a speculative phone call from the award organizer several months earlier, keen to learn more about Lombok as destination. This in turn got the wheels in motioan for a concerted effort to promote Lombok on the global stage – what Taufan calls the origins of the first “wafe”.
Get involved and join the next “wave”
This network of passionate social media foot soldiers has grown to mor than 70-strong, and Taufan is keen to continue the rise. He recognises how local people embrace tourism and are eager to show off their local communities in their own individual way.
This is something that everyone can support and take part in, from local resident and travel bloggers to Lombok’s expat business owners. Get involved and help showcase Lombok and SUmbawa to the world!
For more information contact Jackysan at The Wonderful Lombok Sumbawa Volunteer Program on 0818386964
Source : My Lombok Magz, April 2016 Editor : Jackysan