The Rise of Sustainable Tourism in West Papua

Sustainable Tourism Continues to Grow

Having a lot of charming natural charm, developing tourism potential in West Papua concerns the local government. Collaborating with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, West Papua’s government continues to be committed to developing tourism potential with sustainable tourism.

What is Sustainable Tourism?

Get to Know About Sustainable Tourism

The concept of sustainable tourism has been around for a long time, since the 1980s. However, only recently has the idea of sustainable tourism begun to be applied to managing tourist attractions in Indonesia. Then, what are sustainable tourism practices?

Sustainable tourism is a management concept that considers environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts. With this concept, it is hoped that tourist attractions can have a good effect in the long term. [1]

As you know, opening tourist attractions has a positive impact, such as employment and economic improvement. But on the other hand, opening tourist attractions can also have negative impacts, such as environmental damage. Therefore, in recent years the government has begun to implement the concept of sustainable tourism.

Sustainable tourism effectively preserves tourist attractions and benefits, such as the local population’s economy.

In detail, this is the main focus of sustainable tourism:

  • Utilization of natural resources for development must observe reasonable limits. In other words, the government must pay attention to exploiting natural resources.
  • Guaranteed sustainability of natural resources.
  • The consumption of natural resources for tourism can have repercussions that span multiple generations. 

Sustainable Tourism Development in West Papua

Sustainable Tourism Must Be Improved

West Papua has many hills, seas, and lakes. Seeing the natural resource potential, the West Papua government continues developing the tourism potential in West Papua. This is done so that West Papua can grow into a place known by local people and foreign tourists. [2]

In developing its tourist attractions, the West Papua government does not ignore the concept of sustainable tourism, as mentioned earlier. So far, several tourist attractions in West Papua have implemented the idea of sustainable tourism. Some examples are several tourist attractions in the Raja Ampat area. [3]

The following are tourist attractions in Raja Ampat that have implemented the concept of sustainable tourism:

Saporkren Tourism Village

Saporkren Village is one of the tourist villages in Raja Ampat Regency. This village is rich in tourism potential both on land and at sea.

The main tourist activity offered at this tourist spot is birdwatching. Saporkren Tourism Village is the habitat of 104 species of birds, and two of them are rare and endemic species typical of Raja Ampat. Besides birdwatching, other activities in this place are jungle trekking, diving, and snorkeling.

In 2019, the Saporkren tourist village received an award from the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards for the environment. The award was given because of the community’s dedication to taking advantage of the forest and sea’s potential for responsible and sustainable tourism. [4]

Piaynemo Area

Apart from Saporkren village, sustainable tourism has also been implemented in the Piaynemo area. This tourist spot is famous for its coral islands and seawater, which is bright blue, a typical view of the area in Raja Ampat.

In structuring the Piaynemo area, the local government uses a development plan in accordance with the concept of sustainable tourism.

An example is when the government decides to build stairs. When building stairs, the government uses a special design to avoid cutting down trees around the construction site. [5]

Just like the village of Saporkren, the Piaynemo area received an award from the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Awards.

So far, the West Papua government is still trying to develop several tourist attractions by carrying out the concept of sustainable tourism. Thus, many people can better know the various beautiful places in West Papua, but sustainability can be maintained.