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Youth Hub Indonesia

Knowledge sharing

Community based eco-tourism

Together with the Empower Youth for Work project team of Indonesia and the selected team of experts, we learned from the previous experience and evaluations that it is important to promote sustainability of exchanges when developing the solutions. With this in mind, EYW Indonesia laid their eyes on the community based eco-tourism (CBT), which is now booming and developing rapidly in Indonesia.

Focusing on two areas (Maros and Pangkajene Kepulauan), CBT is supported by the local government and will be managed by youth and local communities to develop tourism which benefit them and function as a hub that increases economic activities around the areas. It is envisioned that some of the CBTs will be designed to suit not only for domestic but international tourists specifically from Europe.

CBT enables the tourist to discover local habitats and learn about the society, celebrates and respects traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom. The way it designed will allow the young people and the community to preserve the traditional value on their natural and cultural heritage and at the same time considering the commercialization aspect through tourism.

So far, CBT has reached some exciting achievements:

  •  1,297 youths (of which 395 were female) in Sulawesi were involved in the pilot development. For reference, the initial target of CBT Pilot Project was set at 212 youth beneficiaries and 1.090 total participants in activities.
  • 191 youths (of which 103 were female) have received capacity building trainings on product development, tour guiding, hospitality, and management.
  • 9 CBT tour products have been developed by the local youth. In addition to this, 4 local products were developed by the youths that could be sold (e.g. t-shirts and local food).
  • A nearby national park and tourism office are supporting the CBT project by constructing tourism facilities.
  • The pilot has a climate-friendly design, including mangrove planting and preservation, reducing waste and plastics, and energy-free activities (e.g. biking, rowing).
  • More than 260 people visited a floating market festival organized by youth in Pangkep. The market engaged local communities around Limbangan, including boat owners, boat crew (taking the visitors for river cruising), and vendors of local food and craft. The event attracted a lot of media attention.

In November, 2019, four country teams from Empower Youth for Work project visited the CBT site in Barru. Have a look at our video!

(Video credit: Aminuddin , Barru District, South Sulawesi Province, Indonesia)


Reflection of Faqih from Oxfam Indonesia in 2020:

Community Based Tourism exchange with Philippines

The return visit, where the Filipino initiatives would visit the Indonesian pilots, was initially scheduled for 2020, during the global pandemic COVID-19. The E-Motive team had to get creative and organized a virtual return visit for early 2021.

Surprisingly, more than 100 people attended the online exchange, including Indonesian government officials, Youth Hub members, implementing partners, and Oxfam country office staff, while there were no sitting fees, minimal marketing, and no promises of further funding opportunities. Youth Hubs in Indonesia shared videos showcasing their Community Based Tourism (CBT) tours, hostels, and local products, while Filipino CBT Best Practices shared videos of their sites as well as personal stories of the tourism operators, and the teams’ responses to the COVID-19 tourism lag.

A lot of knowledge and experience was shared during this three day event, on strategies for survival during Covid-19 and how innovation and creativity can be used to survive and much more.

What did we learn from the exchange?

  • The CBT package must have a story; educate the public so that they can share in the story.
  • Get to know the product chain and network.
  • Village tourism will be successful with the community as the key.
  • Use local traditions and local enterprises for tourist tours and teach tourist, share stories with them.
  • Give trainings on how to reach the market and process local products (offline and online) as alternative recourse for income.
  • Local people know the cultural and history and can tell stories and do performances.
  • Make sure the money goes to the locals, not to the big companies.
  • Make good use of social media.
  • Relationship and cooperation are key (community, youngsters, government, experts, trainers)
  • Make profit, have a business mindset.
  • Inform the community and discuss their urgent challenge, make it a joint mission to solve clean water, or electricity or eco framing.
  • Reduce ego, build togetherness, support each other.
  • Virtual tours as a means of promoting the area and seizing revenue opportunities during the pandemic.

What did we learn from COVID-19?

  • The need for sustainable tourism is more urgent then ever.
  • Tourism is strongly affected by external factors, so, to maintain resilience of the destination, strategies are needed to develop other local resources.
  • Always pay attention to the standards of health, hygiene, and safety as well as the carrying capacity of the environment.
  • Tourism managers need to prepare for mitigation to reduce the risk of loss.
  • Human resource development is key to successful CBT development.

EYW CBT initiatives during the pandemic

A special thanks to Oxfam, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Pangkep and Barru District Governments, and partners from the Philippines for holding this event.