Inhabited by more than 250 tribes, West Papua is rich in unexploited natural resources. Besides the natural resources, this province is also renowned for its cultural heritage. Therefore, the government needs to manage both treasures well.
To increase the gross domestic product of this province, the government needs to manage the natural resources well. These treasures could be a source of income for the locals as well as tourist attractions for domestic and international tourists. With the right management and strategy, West Papua will be able to conserve the environment and culture as well as promote tourism. Therefore, the government, stakeholders, and the locals launch the concept of ecotourism.
This article highlights the concept of ecotourism, the empowerment of the indigenous community, the potentials of ecotourism, and the promotion of ecotourism. Find out the information more details in this article.
The Concept of Ecotourism
As given the breathtaking and exotic nature, culture, and traditional community diversities, West Papua is a suitable place to start the concept of ecotourism. Ecotourism is the best answer to introduce and enjoy nature as well as the cultural heritage without neglecting the protection and conservation of sea ecosystems and forests.
Other purposes of targeting ecotourism are to improve the locals’ welfare through a creative economy, culture diversity, biodiversity conservation, community participation, and utilization of the natural environment.
To execute ecotourism well, the government, stakeholders, and all communities to work hand in hand to make it successful. All locals should get involved in this project as they know much more details about the nature potentials, like handicraft, culinary, and culture.
This approach is not only suitable for social and entrepreneurial aspects, but also the long-term nature conservation goals. The community will be prosperous through the optimization of natural resources management.
The locals’ involvement is essential in making ecotourism succeed. They will take part in exposing their cultural values and guiding the tourists to experience nature and enjoy the adventure of diving, climbing mountains, and seeing the wild animals in the forest.
The Empowerment of Indigenous Community
One of the advantages of the execution of ecotourism is the empowerment of the indigenous community. The government, stakeholders, as well as the indigenous community, will work together for the success of ecotourism. The local communities become the assets and keys to implementing ecotourism. This approach will also encourage them to develop their entrepreneurship skill.
One of the ways to develop the local communities’ entrepreneurship skills is by holding a workshop. The locals present the ideas, challenges, opportunities, and perfect spots for ecotourism in this workshop. They can learn from each other to gain knowledge and improve the tourism business.
The workshop also brings all the ecotourism management together and identify the result of ecotourism practices done by the communities. They also share their experience in executing ecotourism management to create better execution in the future. Furthermore, the local communities also connect all the players of ecotourism and unite them for better communication.
The Potentials of Ecotourism in West Papua
The development of ecotourism encourages the government, stakeholders, and indigenous community to have integrity and sustainability to build the commitment and communication for continuity.
Based on the Government Regulation, there are 2 National Tourism Destinations in West Papua: Manokwari – Fakfak and Sorong Region – Raja Ampat and its surroundings. Those destinations have the potentials to develop. Say, bird watching in Mount Arfak, diving and homestay in Raja Ampat, and mountain climbing in Kaimana.
Those tourist destinations should expose the proper ecotourism concepts, where the ideas should support the sustainability of protecting, empowering, and optimizing the benefits of tourism potentials while encouraging the growth of the economy in some tourist destination areas.
The Promotion of Ecotourism
The promotion of ecotourism needs to be done extensively. A Network of Papuan Community Ecotourism and West Papua Tourism Management are the communities that function as a media for coordination, communication, and consultation of ecotourism execution.
Those who join those communities will have a better capacity to promote and publicize as they do field visits, roadshows, training, and shared learning. The use of online and offline marketing strategies to introduce and promote respective regions is essential to reach domestic and international tourists.
Besides the stakeholders, the national and West Papua provincial government need to take part in organizing the promotion and publication of the ecotourism attractions in local, national, and international events.
The development of ecotourism in West Papua gives fresh air for economic growth. As this idea helps the locals to earn more income, this concept also fits the nature conservation that the locals love. The tourists can enjoy the adventure of being in nature and experience the cultural diversities as well. To make ecotourism succeed, the government, stakeholders, and community need to work together and support each other.