I started to be interested in ecotourism since I was in college I remember wanted to write my thesis about ecotourism, but my lecture told me ecotourism is indeed a big and general topic to write about, so I was told to be more specific at that time little do I know about the tourism industry as my degree course 90% focused on Hotel industry, and we had 2 semester of internship program in five star hotels in Indonesia and abroad, I didn’t have much experience and skills in tourism so I had to skip that and do my thesis more on the hospitality industry.
After graduating my bachelor degree of hotel and tourism management, I didn’t continue pursuing my career in hotel, I wanted to pursue tourism cause I felt that Indonesia’s tourism industry aren’t really making a big success to the world, I felt there is something wrong with our system and our national tourism department, which made me become really curious. After a few years I was employed in a tour operator company located west java, it is a starter company so most of my times was used for research and preparation more on development of the tour products, what interest me the most is that it is an inbound tour program, therefore it only sells Indonesia, which im proud about and are so eager to introduce Indonesia to the world.
I realize after several years of survey and research Indonesia have so much to offer it is unbelievable to know how much we are behind to our neighbouring countries such as like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are way successful they really know how to promote their country, starting from their great system, great infrastructure, great accessibility and useful information.
I believe Indonesia already got all its attractions, we are a land of archipelago, 4rth largest country in the world, they say if we put Indonesia in the Europe map our country would start from England and end in Iran, can you imagine that! How can we lose over our own richness are we starting to get blind of our own strength? Are we really not listening to our self and are we aware of the impact it gives us in future?
I think its about time to do action, to make execution the Department of Tourism and creative economy should be responsible in developing, creating and maintaining a good system, a system that are clear and consistent, we need to start from ZERO! Its not effective to start promoting our great islands, beaches, mountains etc we still have lack of information flow, language skills, maintenance, infrastructure, availability of air transportation, a safe transportation, accessibility all this need to be developed, only then we can start talking about promotion, we need the right skills of people for the right job. Hence there are many talented bloggers, photographer who could travel around Indonesia, create a good image and amazing photography, so many young talented Indonesian travellers, these are the people who need to be involved in Indonesian tourism.
Going back to Eco-tourism knowing Indonesia is an archipelago majority of our tourist attraction are nature based tourism, hence eco- tourism is important to be applied in this country it is a challenge but again it is a great responsibility if we are able to control our nature situation. We don’t want hundreds of people travelling to nature based tourism and starts littering and causes harm to the nature itself. We need to create an eco-tourism tour, select destination with not so many people, educate this people, create an activity in field which could benefit the mother nature. Select eco-resorts, back to nature type of hotels I believe this is a new trend in near future. People are becoming a smart traveller, they want to spend their money in which it could benefit them and others, hence they get sense of pride and responsibility.
There are so many types of nature based tourism and I think for this kind of tourism should consider being socially responsible, we all know the impact of traveling towards our environment, we need to educate our self and be a smart traveler, starting from choosing a destination that offers great social responsible program and eco-resort accommodation, andtour that offer fun activities in involving with its local communities and help them develop as well. If we are able to do this, we certainly know how to be a smart traveler