Tanah Papua is natural resources rich region. It also has promising tourism potential. One of the tourism spots internationally known is Raja Ampat. It is located at the coral triangle which is attractive for tourist and this made Raja Ampat in West Papua Province eminent with its tourism icon. President Joko Widodo puts Raja Ampat into the top 10 of prioritized tourism destinations as stipulated by the Presidential Regulation No. 10/2020 on the 2020-2024 National Medium Term Development Plan.
In addition to Raja Ampat, Tanah Papua also has other scenic spots such as Namatota and Triton Bay in Kaimana Regency, West Papua. The natural beauty gets its prominence with the diverse flora and fauna. However, the tourism potential is not well managed and fails to give optimum benefit to the indigenous people. Insufficient quality of the local human resource is one of the reason. Whereas, sustainable tourism could bolster the local economy while conserving nature and culture.
“Talking about human resources is not a trivial issue. We think what we see is fine, but in fact human resources in West Papua are not ready yet,” said Bustar Maitar, CEO of EcoNusa, on his speech delivered in the Dissemination of Tourism Human Resources Development Study in West Papua organized by EcoNusa in Manokwari, Tuesday, 8 March 2022.
The dissemination was done after EcoNusa conducted a study in Raja Ampat, Manokwari, Sorong, and Kaimana in June-July 2021. Government representative, association, industry, and tourism vocational school involved in the study which was intended to find sustainable solution and strategy for human resources development for tourism in West Papua.
The dissemination was held to get feedback from all stakeholders involved in the sustainable tourism development in Papua and West Papua. In addition to the event in Manokwari, it was also held in Raja Ampat and Kaimana inviting the Tourism and Culture Office, Education Office, Industry, Trade, Cooperative, and Small-Medium Enterprise Office, Regional Development Planning Agency, Tourism Vocation School, university, and representatives of tourism association and industry of each regions.
Bustar said that skill improvement for human resources is needed because all stuffs in tourism have standardized guideline. “Human resource in tourism management is the key. Skills and capacity from the experienced people could be succeeded to the next generation,” said Bustar hoping that the local government supports the development of human resources for sustainable tourism.
Lanny Losung, the EcoNusa’s Chairperson of Tourism Study Team, explained the importance of sustainable community empowerment assisted by government and other relevant partners. As to her, sustainable tourism vocational school could serve as the development of Papuan native human resources so that they have opportunity to improve their skills.
“It is expected that vocational school program could support sustainable program in agriculture, husbandry, marine affairs in a bid to boost local economy,” Lanny said. For human resources development on sustainable tourism, she added the need of program integration at provincial level and among regencies and mayoralties in West Papua.
Charlie. D. Heatubun, West Papua Province’s Research and Development Agency (Balitbangda) representing provincial government, said that the government and all parties committed to improve economy in sustainable way while actively supporting the roles of indigenous people.
As to him, economy slows down due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. For the reason, West Papua government focuses on the improvement of people’s welfare. “In this seminar we can see small things that affect the quality of our tourism sector. Thus, economy should be immediately recovered as the government focus today for economic recovery and people’s welfare including convincing feedback for tourism business players,” said Charlie.
Editor: Leo Wahyudi