Sumba Island in Indonesia is part of East Nusa Tenggara, which also includes Flores and the western part of Timor. Sumba boasts a unique mix of flora and fauna, fascinating indigenous culture and a bright future.
Yet it gets nowhere near the attention of its more famous sister islands to the north, namely Bali and Lombok. Sumba is in fact much larger than both Bali and Lombok and the potential of Sumba real estate is getting investors excited about the future.
Because it is not as well-explored as other islands in the region, Sumba’s investment potential remains excellent, with land prices a fraction of more established islands.
What’s more, the Indonesian government has big plans to use Sumba as a global example of best practices in sustainable development and green energy implementation. Sumba is set to become the world’s first ‘Eco-island’.
Let’s explore the main factors making this underrated paradise a hot pick for property investors globally.
Natural beauty and unique culture
Sumba’s unique landscape is characterised by rolling limestone hills covered in deciduous forest and white-sand beaches giving way to clear azure ocean.
The island’s forests have been designated a protected Eco-region by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to protect their rare mix of Australasian and Asian flora and fauna.
Maintaining this natural beauty is so important as it draws the tourist numbers which are key to driving the island’s economic success. The Nihi Sumba resort, launched in 2015 as Nihiwatu resort, is a prime example of the success that awaits developers in Sumba.
The luxury hideaway won the title of ‘Best Hotel in the World’ from Travel+Leisure magazine two years running in 2016 and 2017. And it continues to be booked solid despite nightly rates being in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The success of Nihi Sumba is a sign-post to a huge amount of untapped potential which must be filled responsibly in order to preserve the value of this enchanting island. Will it be possible to maintain Sumba’s charm as it is developed further? The signs are good.
An Eco-island of the future
Happily, the Indonesian government has ear-marked Sumba as an example of best practice in sustainable development. With massive plans to implement hydro-energy plants and solar and wind farms, it has set a target for the island to be using 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Younger generations are increasingly placing more importance on green tourism and finding authentic local experiences, and Sumba is set to tick both of these boxes.
The unexplored nature of the island means there are plenty of unique cultural experiences to be found. Traditional Sumbanese villages, ancient burial sites and monolithic structures are just some of the many cultural gems waiting to be discovered.
Opening up Sumba to the world in a responsible manner will attract scores of young travellers with disposable income and drive its economic success.
Even with the success of Nihi Sumba and the support of the government, land prices in Sumba remain low, especially compared to Bali and Lombok. But with an increase in interest and infrastructure improving all the time, prices are increasing by 100% year-on-year.
The growth looks sustainable as it is slow and steady, and coupled with the positive development that is happening, it is set to continue at a good, sustainable pace.
Sumba real estate represents an excellent opportunity and with the government increasingly welcoming foreign investment, there’s never been a better time to add Sumba to your portfolio.
*This is a collaborative post