JAKARTA, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Due to its huge economic potential Indonesian government accelerated the recovery process on the resort island of Lombok after it was devastated by a powerful earthquake that crippled tourism facilities.
Two months after the 7-magnitude earthquake rocked the island, tourism in the award-winning island has started to live up with several hotels, whose buildings suffered minor damages, already receiving foreign guests as well as cafes and restaurants amid disrupted supplies.
The government's seriousness to swiftly recover the tourism on the island was reflected from the recent visit of senior officials to the island who checked the progress of reconstruction on tourism facilities.
Speaking during his visit at Lombok's popular tourism spot of Gili Trawangan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said that he had requested the Public Works Ministry to immediately fix the damaged roads to normalize the access to tour spots severely damaged by the earthquake.
"I also have requested the Transportation Ministry to improve the pier facility here so as to comfort the tourists whose spendings eventually give revenues to the people here and the state," Luhut said on Sunday.
Garbage processing facilities will also be built to assure the cleanliness of the island and all of those development processes were expected to be settled in November, he added.
Meanwhile, Indonesia Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on the same occasion, "The Financial Service Authority (OJK) has applied relaxation schemes for tourism businessmen in Lombok to pay their obligations related to their business, including water and electricity bills, regional levies and bank loans."
The government is also developing the tourism human resources in the affected areas, rebuilding tourism facilities and continuing tourism promotion in Lombok, the minister said.
"Included in the rebuilding strategy were the rehabilitation of coral reefs around the small islands near Senggigi beach and trekking paths for tourists on Mount Rinjani," Arief said, citing plans of rehabilitations in the highly favored tourism spots in Lombok.
The Tourism Ministry will also support rehabilitating amenities for tourists, such as homestays and public lighting.
As part of recovery efforts in tourism human resources in Lombok, the ministry conducted trauma healing sessions for people on Lombok whose tourism businesses were affected by the earthquake.
The ministry has initially estimated tourism recovery in Lombok may take at least six months.
The powerful 7-magnitude earthquake in Lombok and series of aftershocks that jolted the island adjacent to Bali has claimed more than 530 lives, displaced and injured hundreds of thousand others.
Most of buildings in the affected areas were severely damaged or flattened with huge economic losses.