Become a Responsible Tourist

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Aerial photo on Friwen Island, South Waigeo District, Raja Ampat Regency, West Papua Province. Friwen Island is one of the favorite destinations to enjoy underwater wista. (EcoNusa Foundation/Moch. Fikri)

Traveling doesn’t just leave a digital trail in the form of a selfie with a charming natural background or a carbon footprint from the use of fossil fuel transportation. Traveled more than that. In addition to enjoying the beauty of attractions, helping to preserve nature and draw from the experience of local wisdom treasures can also be an alternative list that can be met when traveling.

Indonesian Ecotourism Network (INDECON) Director Ary S. Suhandi said, Indonesia has a variety of world-class tourist destinations. According to him, one of the places that must be visited is Papua. No need to go far ‘fly’ to neighboring countries. Tanah Papua provides a variety of natural and cultural tourism destinations. Call it an underwater tour in Raja Ampat, snow on the summit of Cartenz, the Baliem Valley cultural festival, Asmat cultural festival, or bird watching in the Arfak Mountains. These places are just a handful of many tourist destinations scattered in the Land of Papua.

“Papua is a one stop destination. Everything is there. Talking about Papua is always fun. I thank all Papuans for protecting the river, the forest and the sea, “Ary said in an online discussion entitled” Being an Eco Traveler “on Friday, July 17, 2020.

Ary said that the real tour was a responsible trip. The activity of releasing fatigue has a close relationship with conservation. Without it, vulnerable tourism practices cause natural damage.

“If you want to travel, don’t just take photos. Being a tourist who applies the principle of ecotourism is not difficult. We realize, our tour has a negative impact on the environment, so making travel decisions that meet desires, while minimizing negative impacts becomes important, “said Ary.

In addition to being related to the issue of conservation and providing comfort to tourists, ecotourism provides space for the community to be involved as subjects in developing tourist destinations. Tourists can also seek new experiences from local wisdom through direct interaction with the community.

Ary exemplifies the local wisdom of the people in the Arfak Mountains in making zoning of the region known as Igya ser hanjob. The Arfak community’s life guidelines divide the area into four sections based on their functions so that nature conservation is maintained.

“Interaction with local communities is very important. From there we can learn many things. Taking photos doesn’t matter. That’s part of the story. But not the goal. The goal is to add new experiences, new inspiration, new knowledge, “said Ary.

The EcoNusa Foundation Natural Resources Management Associate Program, Aloysius Numberi, said ecotourism plays an important role for the people and natural resources in Papua. Bumi Cendrawasih has a high biodiversity with an area of forest cover of more than 40 million hectares.

“If we see it, the people of Tanah Papua use nature responsibly. Just take just enough. That is why ecotourism is important to be implemented in Papua so that nature and culture are maintained. ” Said Aloysius.

Editor: Leo Wahyudi

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