Concessions to private sector must not destroy people’s livelihoods
The welfare of indigenous communities must be accounted for in the development of sustainable tourism, a senior Indonesian government minister has stressed. Speaking at the Bali Sustainable Tourism Conference, where a strategic plan for sustainable tourism in Indonesia was launched, Sapta Nirwandar, the deputy minister for tourism and creative economy, said that the strategy builds on sustainable tourism development practices already relatively well established in the country.
“The strategic plan serves as a policy recommendation to determine the professional development of sustainable tourism,” he said.
Other speakers added that Indonesia must not repeat the mistakes of other countries around the world. Indonesia tourism planning expert and ILO consultant Mira Gunawan urged that sustainable tourism development should take into account both the local environment and people.
“There needs to be a mindset change among tourism stakeholders from merely measuring tourism development in terms of arrivals and spending, to including how much the development has improved the welfare of people in a destination,” she said.
Citing the example of Machu Picchu in Peru, where the government of Peru’s concessions to the private sector for tourism development came at the expense of the livelihoods of 10,000 local fishermen and farmers, Gunawan said that such cases should be avoided.
[pictured: Lombok; courtesy Indonesian Tourism]