Namatota Prepares for Best Tourism Village Model

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Sangnus Worait Beach is located northeast of Kampung Namatota, Kaimana Regency, West Papua (EcoNusa Foundation/Alosius Numberi).

Namatota Village is a small village in Kaimana Regency, West Papua, with intersecting border of Triton Bay and  adjacent to Bicari Bay. The sea surrounding Namatota Village is haven for multifarious ocean biota and divers after Raja Ampat. A great range of coral and fish is similar to that of in Raja Ampat due to the connectivity of genetics according to Conservation International (2004). Local community has prepared homestay for the visiting tourists. Sofyan Mafanik, the Executive Director of Weer Foundation, said that there are two homestays and he has a hope that the local community could run ecotourism management in Namatota Village. He also reminded that involving local women for economic empowerment program in Kimana is very crucial.

To reach the village, people could ride a boat, or locally-called bodi, for an hour trip from Kaimana.  This village is known as the capital of Namatota Kingdom. The historical sites of Namatota Kingdom in this village can serve as the tourism destination and knowledge sources.

Historical studies found that monarchy in Papua was located at Bomberai and Onin Straits. Namatota Kingdom or also known as Kowiai Kingdom was located at Bomberai Strait. The traditional monarchy Namatota did not have outstanding palace as that of other monarchies but rather a Royal House which was locally known as the Customary House. The Royal House was no longer inhabited by the king but used as a museum for the inherited accessories of Namatota royal leaders. In addition, the royal family cemetery nearby the mosque or the Royal House are parts of historical sites.

In addition to those historical sites, Namatota also has charming coastal areas such as Sangnus Worait Beach on the northeast of the village. Sangnus Worait has white sand with calm sea water surrounding by karst islets. Following long trip to Triton Bay, tourists usually pay a visit to enjoy the splendour of the beach and clean water here. There are two homestays made and managed by the local community.

Kaimana has culture and attractive beach and the local people’s spirits to develop tourism. Considering the potential, the local government, such as Tourism Office and Community and Village Empowerment Office, provides assistance and makes Namatota as priority of tourism village development.

According to Usman Fenetiruma, the Tourism Office, said Namatota will be developed as the tourism village due to its strategic position with Triton Bay nearby. Besides, Namatota which is known as royal village has authoritative influence to the surrounding areas. There are some development partners working in Namatota with different focus of works such as Conservation International, Environment Defence Fund focusing on sustainable fisheries. PPPMD under the Vilage Empowerment Office and KOMPAK LANDASAN Program which will develop village enterprise and capacity building for village authorities. In this respect, EcoNusa Foundation and Tourism Office will collaboratively develop sustainable ecotourism in Namatota Village.

All of these partners will have collaborative works to develop the community for tourism village modelling. It is expected that the tourism sector will be backed up by other sectors such as sustainable fisheries which supply the demand of homestay. It is also necessary to build local institution to support the village tourism activities.

The Tourism Office and EcoNusa plan to have joint activities such as capacity building for tourism hospitality. The training will create skilful community to host tourist while preparing the local villagers for all tourism activities on the village. By end of 2020, Namatota will be tried out as a tourism village. From this, it is expected the local government officials would book the tourism package as part of assessment process of the community preparedness for Namatota Tourism Village. Let alone, in February 2020, Namatota has got internet and cellular services. Information access remains open to gear the Namatota as a tourism destination.

Editor: Leo Wahyudi

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