The WISATA programme, originally started in 2009 covering only the island of Flores. Due to the success of the first phase, it was decided that a second phase of the programme should start in June 2014, covering three additional destinations (Toraja, Tanjung Puting, and Wakatobi). Throughout this second phase, the approach, which was successfully developed and applied in Flores, was circulated. WISATA was carried out in close cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and in line with the national tourism development programme. The main goal of the programme was to contribute to economic development through sustainable tourism in order to create employment and income that can improve the livelihood of the local population.
After the 9 years of implementation, the WISATA programme has achieved very good results in several components, such as marketing and promotion, business development services improvement, community based tourism, and education. Concerning the destination management, WISATA initially supported to the empowerment of Destination Management Organisations (DMO) as an organisation, including organisational set-up, technical capacity-building provision, support with limited property, and links to market; after 2016 the support expanded to include the strengthening of DM functions/networks. Support to local Government(s) included improving the sustainability of a destination and supporting a study on the impact of tourism, piloting a Plastic Reduction Initiative and Solid Waste Management (SWM), supporting local government in the implementation of a sustainable destination standard and the introduction of Strategic Visitor Flow.
For Destination Management, the respective organisations of Flores, Toraja, and Wakatobi are now well established and accepted. The DMOs bridged and harmonised national, sub-national and district policies to improve their relationship quality with the local/regional private sectors. For Destination Marketing, destination branding now exists and is applied in all four targeted destinations. All destinations already have online and offline marketing channels, which are used by local hospitality businesses (accommodations, restaurants, and tour/dive operators) in all target destinations. WISATA conducted various trainings, in cooperation with DMO Flores, to strengthen DMO staff members in marketing management, so they are able to independently maintain marketing and promotion activities independently in the long run.
Tools and Training Programmes for Service Quality Improvement were developed and made available in to each destination. The programmes include, (1) the Hospitality Coaching Programme (HoCo) with 3 modules, and (2) Tourism Skills Training (ToST) Programme with 6 training themes. In order to implement these service quality improvement offers, Local Service Providers (BDS) in all target destinations were selected and coached. Furthermore, Local Resource Networks (LReNs) were built up and strengthened under the management of the selected BDS in all target destinations. At the end of the project, all Service Quality Improvement Offers (Tools and Trainings) were successfully handed over to the service providers mentioned above and all LReNs are now fully operational.
Community Based Tourism or CBT requires a sensitive, long-term involvement with individualised trainings and coaching sessions. To improve such processes, the Community Coaching (CoCo) Programme was developed based on experiences in the field and with the aims to strengthen selected community organisations or CBT Groups in order to help develop their capacity to participate in the realisation of tourism-based villages. 4 modules of CoCo are available: a) Community Organisation, b) Financial Literacy, c) Homestay Management for Community Organisations and Owners, and d) Local Products Development.
With regard to environment protection/mitigation measures, WISATA focused on 3 main components: 1) Stakeholder support in planning for implementation and activation of better SWM practices, 2) Pilot projects with communities with a focus on improving SWM with methodologies suitable for replication, including a Code of Conduct, and 3) Initiatives for the reduction of single use plastics. Government, communities, DMOs, associations, and private tourism stakeholders have been actively involved in this process to varying degrees. The overall strategy in the 4 destinations resulted in the increased awareness of local government and tourism stakeholders, increased ability to understand related issues and needs, as well as an increase in the engagement of businesses, as well as DMO and local governments' abilities to tackle these issues. Approaches on a micro level, through Plastic Reduction Initiatives (PRI) and Bring Back your Waste, has have engaged more than 60 local businesses to participate in environmental protection activities.
Through WISATA interventions, 9 Vocational Tourism Schools (SMKs) have successfully developed cooperation with industries inside and/ or outside their area. Additionally, school laboratories were improved. Local content was successfully developed in Tanjung Puting, Wakatobi, and Flores. All of WISATA's interventions have affected the number of graduates that are hired by the private sector. As resulted discovered from the results from Tracer Study, the number of students who worked after graduating in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 exceeded 75%. For Higher Education, the destination management curriculum was approved by the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (MENRISTEK) through Regulation No. 15/2017 along with the changes of Nomenclature for Tourism Higher Education in Indonesia. This curriculum has been applied by STP Bali and another partner institution (Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana) in 2017/2018, meanwhile STP Bandung and Poltekpar Makassar will apply it in the academic year of 2018/2019.
WISATA has finalised all open activities and provided capacity building to all beneficiaries as needed by June 2018. However, it is necessary for all Central and Local governments, private sectors, associations/organisations to become active partners in order to continue the sustainable development of tourism in the all 4 target destinations.
Indonesia is the country with the largest economy in Southeast Asia, stretching across more than 17,000 islands with an exceptional diversity of cultures and economic differences. The variation between geographical areas is visible in the living circumstances of its more than 250 million people. Despite impressive economic growth rates the absolute number of people living in poverty is still large.
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) supports different development projects in Indonesia with the aim to improve the competitiveness and integration of the country into the world economy.
Swisscontact is a business-oriented independent foundation for international development cooperation. Represented in 36 countries with over 1,400 employees, Swisscontact has promoted economic, social, and environmental development since 1959. Both Swisscontact and SECO pursue the goal of alleviating poverty and improving people’s living conditions through direct collaboration with governmental institutions and local communities.
WISATA, as a landmark programme, was carried out in close cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism. The main goal of the programme was to contribute to economic development through sustainable tourism, creating employment and income to improve the livelihood of the local population.
In the 4 WISATA supported destinations, there has been:
he initial set-up of WISATA was to support the establishment of a Destination Management Organisation (DMO). This was done in line with the national programme of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism (MoT).
The DMO is an independent body consisting of members from various institutions, depending on the destination, such as businesses, associations, as well as individuals as members. The DMO can take on various forms, ranging from a legal entity to a stakeholder discussion forum. Besides its function as an overarching actor and platform for discussion, the DMO can take a mediating role between its partners and the government as well as promote the destination in the national and international tourism markets.
After the mid-term review in 2016, WISATA widened its support to in strengthening Destination Management functions. This provided more flexibility in improving destination management functions through the DMO itself and/or relevant institutions where available. Today, local organisations and individuals in all 4 destinations have improved destination management competencies, leading to wider and more comprehensive destination management services such as coordination among stakeholders, destination marketing and promotion, tourism product development and service quality improvement, research and planning, as well as community involvement and partnership.
WISATA has supported the DMO Flores since 2011. At present, DMO Flores has shown its strength and
performance by independently organising a wide range of programmes. With its local resource network, DMO Flores is able to offer skills training workshops for hospitality services and tour guiding, a coaching programme for small hotels (HoCo) and communities (CoCo), as well as a comprehensive Destination Management training for practitioners. DMO Flores has independently developed its marketing collateral since 2012 through its sponsorhip/advertisement scheme. In order to offer direct services in the destination, 4 Tourist Information Centres are operating in 3 towns throughout Flores and 1 in Bali. In addition, Flores, as a destination, is actively connected to market players and media through trade fairs and familiarisation trips.
For its long-term sustainability, DMO Flores has established relationships with third parties and managed to receive a Grant Alumni scheme from the Government of Australia for its the Hospitality Coaching programme.
In Wakatobi, the existing destination management body was not functioning effectively enough to accelerate destination management, as stakeholders’ participation in tourism development was very low. To address this, WISATA initiated several tourism groups, at the island level, in Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. These tourism groups, or so-called Island Working Groups (IWG), involved local stakeholders, from the government, NGOs, businesses, and the National Park in addition to communities and artisan groups. These IWGs have developed various tourism products and have actively socialised and campaigned for tourism development. Today, the IWGs have become key partners to local governments in the tourism development in Wakatobi.
The IWG Networks, an umbrella body at the district level, was established to link all IWGs together. The IWG Networks then set-up a formal community organisation, named YAYASAN WAKATOBI SINTASU, which consists of representatives from each IWG. Wakatobi Sintasu supports destination development through its three divisions: Training & Coaching, Destination Marketing, and Event Organiser & Trip Management.
One main task of a DMO is to raise awareness of the destination through marketing. Developing unique branding can help unify stakeholders and also provides the destination with a recognisable face in the tourism market.
To strengthen the links within the market, the DMOs and relevant businesses/ associations have been trained and attended national and international trade fairs to represent their destination. Furthermore, WISATA supported the destinations in de veloping and maintaining attractive promotional materials and tools, which are important to catch the interest of potential consumers.
Branding was developed for all four destinations to support promotional activities and provide a strong and recognisable presence in the market. The branding is used on all promotional material presented at trade fairs. Besides promotional tools, guidebooks for specific themes are on sale (people & culture, diving, trekking), as well as a tourist maps, detailing the most interesting attractions.
High quality service offered by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is a key factor of a successful destination. By developing local training and coaching services that offer advice to business associations, businesses in the target destinations can improve and reach a professional level.
WISATA’s goal was to support a variety of local tourism businesses and related individuals, such as tour guides, hotels, restaurants, as well as dive and tour operators to increase their service quality. This was done through systematically supporting business development service providers (BDS), such as related associations and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), in building their capacities to provide services to their members. The BDS were trained to develop and provide service quality improvement offers, such as training and coaching services, to the local tourism businesses. In order to deliver these offers professionally, the local BDS were supported in building up so-called Local Resource Networks (LReNs), which serve as pools of local professionals who are willing to share specific knowledge and expertise as well as provide problem-solving solutions to businesses. Today, more than 200 local professionals in the target destinations have been trained to deliver service quality improvement offers by sharing their expertise and valuable professional experiences.
To make local small businesses understand the importance of sufficient quality, and the existence and significance of service quality, WISATA provided associations with support in developing tools for different areas of work within hotels and restaurants as well as for tour guides. This included the creation of self-assessment tools (toolkits), intense training and coaching programmes for upgrading the skills of the local tourism workforce, and enhancing hospitality business operations. These offers comprised the Hospitality Coaching Programme (HoCo) and the Tourism Skills Training (ToST) Programme.
HoCo is a training and coaching programme, based on ILO’S SCORE, to support small locally-owned hotels and guesthouses in the target destinations to improve business operations. HoCo offers three themes: (1) Workplace Cooperation, (2) Service Quality and Human Resource Management, and (3) Good Environmental Practices and Community Engagement.
ToST aims to upgrade the skills of the existing local tourism workforce and offers various modules in the area of hospitality and tour guiding: (1) Housekeeping, (2) Food & Beverage (F&B) Service, (3) Good Kitchen Practice, (4) Receptionist, (5) Health & Tourism/ First Aid, and (6) Tour Guiding.
Community-based tourism (CBT) is a form of tourism that aims to provide opportunities for local societies to control and engage in tourism management and development. Within this concept, community groups participate in tourism related planning, management, and decision-making.
As one of the important principles in this concept is the strengthening of community organisations, or village CBT groups, in order to develop the capacities of the communities to realise their full tourism potential. The community organisations learn to provide tourism attractions and offers to the tourism market. Attractions a group can offer may include, services and/or locally sourced products that are usually based on a community’s daily, traditional, and/or cultural activities. WISATA aimed to strengthen several community organisations in the selected destinations and supported the development and improvement of village attractions and offers. Tourism activities and offers were developed jointly and are now managed by villagers through the village CBT groups that are linked to the tourism market in the destination. Attractions and offers include agro-tourism, trekking to waterfalls and hot springs, cultural attractions, local product sales, as well as staying overnight in a local/traditional homestay. The village community receives economic benefits, where profits are also distributed to the community, from such tourism activities.
CBT can be considered to be a sensitive long-term involvement with individualised trainings and coaching sessions. To improve such pr ocesses, WISATA developed the Community Coaching (CoCo) Programme. CoCo is a structured training and coaching programme which was developed based on experiences in the destinations and aims to strengthen selected community organisations or CBT Groups with four practical themes: (1) Organisational Development for CBT Groups, (2) Financial Literacy, (3) Homestay Management for CBT Groups and Owners, and (4) Local Product Development.
The development of the CoCo Programme was finalised with the creation of participant’s and trainer’s materials in each topic and subsequently implemented in all supported destinations.
In 2015, the Lamandau district government of Central Kalimantan, through the Tourism Office, committed to develop Lopus Village as a Tourism Village. Lopus has a magnificent natural potential but has yet to be supported by its hospitality services. WISATA supported Lopus with the establishment of the Lopus Tourism Awareness Group.
When WISATA developed the Community Coaching programme, Lopus became one of the pilot programme villages. Lopus was run by four villagers working side-by-side with the WISATA team, and w ere able to encourage other villagers to actively participate in tourism development. Lopus Tourism Awareness Group, also known as Korangan Batuah, received training and coaching in organisational development, financial management, homestays, and local product development. Now, Lopus has 3 homestays, cultural and natural attractions, handicrafts, and is linked to local tour operators in Kotawaringin Barat. Slowly, Lopus village has become a successful alternative destination to Tanjung Puting National Park to visit when in Central Kalimantan.
Formal and industry-oriented tourism education is crucial to the competence of the workforce in delivering optimal service quality. Thus, working on an increase of service standards, it was essential to initiate interventions that focused on the capacity increase of both vocational schools and higher educational institutions.
The programme supported selected SMKs (vocational schools for tourism are called Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan or SMK Pariwisata) in the destinations. The main focus was on building up teachers’ capacities, including the joint development of teaching materials and the improvement and maintenance of tourism-related facilities. A special emphasis was placed on the establishment of stronger links between SMKs and the tourism industry, to raise the quality and relevance of the practical experiences students receive in school as well as through internships.
The programme selected three public tourism universities, namely STP Bali, STP Bandung, and Poltekpar Makassar. They all offer diploma programmes in destination management or programmes related to this study area. The focus for support was put on the curriculum and teacher expertise.
Links to selected universities in Switzerland, and other national or international partner universities, stimulated knowledge exchange and built up expertise. By fostering these aspects, the programme improved the overall quality of the study programmes related to destination management, leading to competent graduates with enhanced management skills for the tourism destinations in Indonesia.
Flores is situated in the eastern part of the archipelago. The island boasts breath-taking nature on land and underwater, including jungles, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, unique beaches, and stunning marine life.
Flores is most famous for two internationally renowned attractions, the Komodo National Park and Kelimutu National Park. The Komodo National Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1986, and Lonely Planet awarded Flores the 8th Best Region to Visit in 2015. In 2016, Pesona Indonesia awarded Kelimutu the Most Favourite Highland Destination, and awarded the exile house of Soekarno as the best history tour in Indonesia.
More than 500 businesses (accommodation, tour operators, restaurants, dive shops and art shops) exist on the whole island to serve visitors. As Labuan Bajo became one of the 10 prioritised destinations in Indonesia, the central government has given support with infrastructure development and the instalment of a Badan Otorita Pariwisata (Tourism Authority Board). All three main airports in Maumere, Ende and Labuan Bajo have been upgraded. Nowadays, the Komodo Airport is able to receive larger planes like Embraer or Boeing types as well as propeller-based airplanes. Since December 2016, the airport in Labuan Bajo has a direct connection to Jakarta and in the future, it will also have flights from abroad. The government has also improved: roads, public facilities, water & electricity supply, waste management, relocation on container ports, immigration, hubs for cruise ships, academic/university tourism, and other tourism services.
Tanjung Puting is a national park located in the province of Central Kalimantan, which is part of Indonesian Borneo. The area covered by Tanjung Puting is around 400,000 hectares and has been classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Most of the visitors come to Tanjung Puting National Park and explore the site by kelotok (small boats). This national park has been chosen as World’s Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO since 1977. It is recognised as home to the endangered species, orangutans. Visitors that visited Tanjung Puting also visit Bugamraya, Tanjung Keluang Natural Park, Yellow Palace, and event other districts near Kotawaringin Barat.
The government support tourism in Tanjung Puting is improving, particularly in Lamandau district, for instance in the development of Lopus and Tapin Bini as a tourism village. Some activities have been conducted such as Festival Balayah Lanting, Babukung, and familiarisation trips.
In the 1st semester of 2017, Kotawaringin Barat Tourism Office recorded 67.5% increase of international visitors (4,329) compared to the same period in 2016 (2,583). The number of national visitors has also increased to 34,258 visitors, which is 22.19% higher than the 1st semester 2016 of 28,036 visitors.
Toraja is located in the highlands of South Sulawesi and comprises of two regencies, Tana Toraja and Toraja Utara. The main draw for tourists in Toraja is its distinct culture and magnificent nature.
The area of Toraja is located in South Sulawesi and includes two districts, Tana Toraja and Toraja Utara. The main draw for tourists in Toraja is its distinct culture.
In the first semester of 2016, the visitor numbers for Toraja increased. The Government of Indonesia hopes to double visitors’ arrivals by 2019. Both local governments of Tana Toraja and Toraja Utara decided to put tourism as a leading sector for the region. Besides the well-known cultural tourism and grave tours, new potential attractions were developed such as: natural sites, food & beverage, as well as lodging businesses. New restaurants, accommodation and an adventure tour operator have been established as well. Furthermore, Toraja now has flights to and from Makassar to Palopo, Luwu Regency (a two-hour drive from Toraja) from Monday to Saturday. However, Toraja still has challenges in accessibility and development. The governments’ main tasks are improving access to the area, particularly by expanding Pongtiku Airport and completing the construction of Buntu Kunik Airport.
WISATA supported Toraja Utara district to implement national sustainable standards as part of the national program of MoT. Under this initiative, the Toraja Utara district won Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Award (ISTA) as the third-place winner in the Cultural category. After ISTA, the Toraja government will aim to get Indonesian Sustainable Tourism Development certification.
The islands of Wakatobi are located off the coast of Southeast Sulawesi. The area gets its name from its four main islands of Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko. The marine national park is part of the Southeast Asian Coral Triangle.
Most tourists come to Wakatobi for diving. Due to the high-end, Wakatobi Dive Resort, the destination is perceived as luxurious and expensive. However, leaving aside the luxury resort, the other tourism facilities in Wakatobi, such as accommodations or dive operators lack quality in their facilities, staff training and day-to-day operations, resulting in disappointed visitors that come with high expectations. Furthermore, accessibility to the destination continues to be limited and time consuming, as merely one or two flights are offered: the indirect flight from Makassar via Kendari to Wangi-Wangi and the direct flight from Makassar to Wangi-Wangi. The destination is also accessible via boat from Kendari or Baubau, but it is even more time consuming.
The Ministry of Tourism selected Wakatobi as one of the ten priority regions with a tourism authority body (BOP) to push tourism development. Besides the FTKP as a coordinating body in Wangi-Wangi, there are now different island based Working/Tourism Groups (IWGs) which link the tourism development between the district and the islands, as well as act as a marketing agency. The local government and tourism stakeholders are aware of the need to develop and promote alternative attractions to attract more visitors and increase the involvement of stakeholders. Therefore, potential new attractions such as Tourism Villages could be offered, as well as local products that are being supported in their development by the new government. Additionally, there are some newly established hotels, resorts, and dive operators in Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, and Tomia.
Indonesia is a large and attractive country with a very diverse natural and cultural spectrum, resulting in a high tourism attractiveness. The Indonesian Government recognises this potential and in the past decade lifted the development of the tourism sector on a high priority. This was also reflected in their development plan a) with the DMO program between 2010 till 2014 focusing on 15 selected destinations and introduced DMOs there which were transformed to Forums at the end and b) between 2015 until 2019, with the 10 “new Bali” program introducing new Badan Otoritas Pariwisata to coordinate government projects and accelerate investments.
SECO recognises this potential as well, and starting 2009 in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism RI supported their development efforts with the WISATA program. In a first phase focusing on one destination in Flores to strengthen the DMO and supporting the tourism sector in the destination as a whole. With the second phase program expanded to three additional and quite different destinations Toraja, Wakatobi and Tanjung Puting. Swisscontact was assigned by SECO to implement the program.
Tourism is a very wide and complex economic sector with a broad range of players on different levels. Normally a project focuses on one specific aspect and target group to be strengthened. With the WISATA program we got the chance to apply a holistic program including more or less every aspect of this complex sector. This gave us the chance to develop a destination as a whole! This required also some flexibility to adjust approaches and interventions. Such comprehensive programs have of course as well challenges! Below some main points:
The overall outcome of the WISATA program Swisscontact judge as very positive since a) the destinations benefited from the project and b) new and innovative approaches and tools have been developed and tested, which are ready to be absorbed by the Ministry and local Government programs.
The programme actively engaged with stakeholders, particularly local governments, business
associations & enterprise, formal education institutions, and community groups.
Besides agriculture, fishing, and mining, tourism is one of the important income generating industries in Indonesia. The interaction with local cultures and communities is becoming more important for tourists, fostering a greater interest, which often encourages communities to preserve their local cultural values and traditions. Besides attractions, a destination needs professional marketing, high service quality, competitive products as well as sufficient infrastructure.
Through appropriate management of a destination, the tourism industry can foster the economy as well as the environment in addition to facilitating further social advancements.
The programme was able to improve the tourism sectors in all target destinations, leading to a significant increase of income for hundreds of families. Today, more people visit the unique destinations compared to a few years ago. Since the beginning of the programme, international visitor numbers have increased over 65.3% in three of the four WISATA’s destinations. Visitors’ satisfaction has increased by 10%, and the calculated income from visitors has risen over 50%. The valuable experiences learned in the destinations can now be passed on to other areas, through new programmes on the one hand, and on the other hand,
through an exchange of knowledge with other destinations.
The vision that SECO and Swisscontact intended to pursue with local stakeholders in all destinations was a manner of development that preserves natural and cultural resources while being economically sustainable. We hope that these kinds of initiatives will be duplicated by programmes put forth by the Ministry of Tourism or local Governments for the benefit of communities in other areas.
Conserving the pristine, natural attractiveness of the four destinations is crucial to sustaining their appeal to tourists seeking an attractive destination. Poor waste management practices, due to lack of awareness infrastructures and strategies, has been the main issue identified and tackled during the programme.
Interventions in the 4 destinations were based on improving knowledge of conservation issues among stakeholders and their ability to act to mitigate them. The activities included: supporting local governments, both in planning and, wherever possible, in improving services for tourism sites as well as establishing pilot programmes for communities managing tourist sites. This includes the implementation of different types of Code of Conduct.
Additional focus was given to initiatives concerning plastic reduction, particularly the use of refillable bottles and reusable shopping bags versus the use of their single-use plastic counterparts. Under the tagline, “I use this because I care,” a full rounded initiative has been launched and carried out in all 4 destinations with the introduction of more than 60 water refill stations available to tourists.
The community in Labuan Bajo committed to improve solid waste management in collaboration with the local government. A formal agreement was signed among the stakeholders. As a follow-up, the PKK/P2L (Pembinaan Kesejahteraan Keluarga/ Perempuan Peduli Lingkungan) women’s group was revitalised and received support from WISATA to plan and implement their activities, which consisted of three areas: environment, skills building, and health.
The women’s group decided that a good way to show the community the importance of changing waste-related habits was to organise a weekly clean-up in the pilot project area, where everyone was welcome to participate. The principle used was “leading by example.” The women’s group has grown in time and their efforts have become more visible and effective. In addition, they have contributed to the collection of recyclable plastics, a project initiated within the households of the pilot project community. School children within the pilot project area were also encouraged to recover plastic bottles and plastic cups.
Slowly, PKK/P2L have successfully raised the interest of other hamlets outside the pilot programme area and organised clean-ups with other communities, including dive operators, tourism stakeholders, and the Komodo National Park. One of the women group’s interests was also to improve skills that could generate additional income and contribute to their family’s economies. They wanted to develop the ability to create nice and useful crafts from the plastic waste c ollected. WISATA has supported trainings to improve these women’s skills and has facilitated their participation in a few local fairs. In addition, trainings on how to determine production costs and price of products, as well as how to handle administration, were provided. Since the first fair generated good income for the group, they now have seed money to finance the continuous making of crafts. Following this success, they opened a number of small cafés/kiosks where their crafts are for sale. The P2L/PKK community has grown stronger and become the partner of many stakeholders willing to contribute positively in improving SWM practices.