Who don’t know Belitong? I believe that many Indonesian know Belitong. Since the novel title Laskar Pelangi written by Andrea Hirata had published and boosted the high curiosity of Belitong. High number of people want to visit and they did. It is one of the opportunities for the government to manage the curiosity became something with high economic values.
Last month, the government of Babel conducted the International Seminar titled, Marine Tourism, at 21-22 September 2011. It is my pleasure to say that they asked me to be a moderator for the session.
The Provincial government of Kepulauan Bangka Belitung held an international seminar on marine tourism that was organized by the Culture and Tourism Provincial Office and supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Indonesia (MoCT), as one of the agendas of Sail Wakatobi –Belitong 2011. The seminar was held at the Ballroom of Novotel Convention Center in Pangkalan baru, Central Bangka Regency, Bangka Island, on the September 21, 2011 and continued by a field visit on September 22, 2011 to show several marine tourism in Bangka to the participants of the seminar, as well as to examine one tin geo-track, a track developed by the Culture and Tourism Office with Centre for Tourism Planning and Development (P2Par) ITB in 2009. The focus of the seminar was on Marine Tourism Destination Management for Sustainable Development, with various themes presented by experts, academics and practitioners. The event was supported not only by the MCT, but also by PT Timah, World Central for Excellence of Destination and Conservation International Indonesia.
The seminar was opened by Mr. Erwandi Rani, representing the Governor of Kepulauan Bangka Belitung. Directors from the MoCT and the Ministry of Marine and Fishery of Republic of Indonesia also addressed welcome speeches. In the event, Provincial government of Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, and the (Hon.) Consul General of Republic of Seychelles, Nico Barito, signed a Letter of Intent for a cooperation in capacity building in environmental management with the focus on strategic planning for marine tourism. The opening ceremony was also made lively with the “Bujang Katak” dance performance by the Sanggar Astari .
The seminar was started by a 30 minute presentation by Anthony Ian Charters, from Tony Charters and association – Australia, as the keynote speaker. Mr. Charters presented “Marine Tourism – Creating A Sustainable Future”. Mr. Charters was especially invited to the seminar by the MoCT. He presented the trends in tourism, from eco tourism, the consumer desire for authenticity, sustainability to social networking and the use of technology of Web 2.0. He also addressed important issues in destination management like destination stewardship, destination planning, resource protection, product development, monitoring and research, as well as presenting best practices on tourism development in Australia.
The next presentation was a teleconference made by DR Cesar Castaneda Vasquez Del Mercado, SMED expert from World Center for Excellence of Destination as well as the Secretary General of Organication Latino Americana y del Caribe de Turismo (OLACT). Dr. Castaneda presented the System of measures for excellence in Destination (SMED), directly from Montreal – Canada using Skype. Dr. Castaneda himself initiated the teleconference for he could not attend the seminar in person due to an important agenda he should attend in Mexico City the next day.
The teleconference was moderated by Dr. Herry Suhermanto, MCP, Director of Cooperative, Small and Medium Enterprises of the National Planning Agency (Bappenas). Dr. Suhermanto was also the chairman for the first session in which HE Seremaia Tui Cavuilati, The Ambasador of Republic of Fiji to Indonesia, presented “Modifying Ecotourism into community-based tourism in Fiji: A Pragmatic Approach to rural local-owned tourism”; Mr. Nico Barito, The Hon. Consul General of Republic of Seychelles to Indonesia presented the tourism in Seychelles and Prof. Dr. Ir. Yoyok Wahyu Subroto, M.Eng. from The Department of Architecture and Planology of Gadjah Mada University and Studi Pariwisata (Stupa) Yogyakarta presented core concepts for tourism marketing. The main topics of this first session were Destination Management Organization for Marine Tourism and Marketing and Investment for Marine Tourism.
Dr. Budi Brahmantyo, the head of P2Par ITB, chairmanned the second session with the topics of Eco-Marine Tourism and Sustainable Marine Tourism and Marine Heritage Tourism. In this session, 3 professors from the best universities in Indonesia presented their paper, along with 1 case study presented by Ir. Hugua, the Bupati of Wakatobi. Prof.Dr. Dietriech K. Bengen from IPB presented hid paper on “Strategic Perspective of Sustainable Small Islands Marine Tourism Development in Indonesia”, Prof. Dr. Chafid Fandeli from Gadjah Mada University presented “Green Partnership Development in Marine Tourism Management” and Prof. Dr. Supratikno Raharjo from Department of Archaeology of Indonesia University presented the potentials and challenges in Underwater Cultural Heritage Management And Marine Tourism in Indonesia. Dr. Budi Brahmantyo was also the resource person in the tin geo track field visit the next day.
The topics of the last session were Technology for Marine Tourism Destination Management and Conflict Resolution Management on Marine Tourism. Farica Edgwina Yosafat presented Oceanographic Information for Suporting Marine Tourism Management. The presentation was prepared together with Prof. Dr. Rer. Nat. Dadang K. Miharja. From Bangka Belitung, the coordinator of Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung (KPLB), Budi Setiawan, presented Integrated Coastal Management as a Tool for Enhancement of Local Community Coastal Resources, Environment Quality and Sustainable Marine Tourism. Mr. Setiawan presented the efforts of the NGO he worked for in creating the conservation tourism destination in Belitung. Ms. Ii Rosna Tarmidji from Conservation International Indonesia presented how Raja Ampat and Kaimana manage the destination by empowering the local communities.
The whole agenda of the international seminar was closed in the evening of September 22nd, by the head of Culture and Tourism Office of Kepulauan Bangka Belitung, Mr. Yan Megawandi in a barbeque farewell dinner at the pool side of Aston Sol Marina Bangka. Mr. Megawandi expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the all speakers and participants. He also extended the appreciation and congratulations from various parties to the committee who had successfully managed interesting topics and executed the first teleconference in a seminar in Bangka Belitung, as the ministries officials told Mr. Megawandi that they never conducted such kind of conference using a popular internet application like Skype. His Excellency ST Cavuilati also performed a song for the whole participants, creating friendly atmosphere at the gathering.