Among ecotourism society, the name of this woman is quite famous. Moreover, she often provides training to social agencies (NGOs) both local and abroad, about the ecotourism. Her mastery of the field on this one deserves two thumbs up. It can be said that, Indriani is the mother of eco-tourism of Indonesia! It was also impressed that she graduated from a college or institution related to tourism. Actually, she wasn’t! This beautiful woman that smiles a lot is a Biology graduate from the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), West Java – Indonesia.
She is Indriani Setiawati, the Manager of Communications and Development of Indecon Network, an organization that specializes in eco-tourism development. Eco-tourism is a tourism that focuses on nature, culture, education and empowerment of communities around the area of tourism.
Now, not all Indonesian people know about eco-tourism. This makes Indriani sad. Moreover, ecotourism in Indonesia has attracted foreigners more, such as from Europe. “Between griefing and not griefing, concerning the Indonesian people who know less about our eco-tourism,” said Indriani. According to the woman who was born in Bandung, November 5, 1969, actually in the media there are many information about Indonesian eco-tourism. But, for the tourism business it occupies not so important level of Indonesian people’s needs.
On average, people who follow the ecotourism have higher education and ability that are only about five percent. “The rest, we don’t expect much. We told them to travel first. We can go through the education for children. Once they are aware, automatically it will go on itself and better known to the Indonesian people,” added Indriani to TNOL recently.
Indriani herself inadvertently cultivate eco-tourism. At that time, she was a student majoring in Biology in ITB. She had conducted some research on fish, then at an international seminar on vetebrata that LIPI held in Manado, her interest of ecotourism began.
At this seminar, Indriani met some people from the international conservation. From those people, Indriani obtained inputs about ecotourism. Then, the director of international conservation of Indonesia invited her to join in ecotourism. With that invitation, Indriani began ‘crossing’ her interest into tourism.
No current difficulties happened when she entered the eco-tourism world because it is actually common tourism, easily digested, but difficult to implement. “Tourism is a sector that being assisted by other sectors, so that learning was easy,” added Indriani to TNOL. As someone who just joined in eco-tourism, the first step taken was to create a network first. One of the ways was by contacting all the NGOs.
While doing that stage, sometimes she got underestimated because many still considered her as ‘the new kid’. Then Indriani and her team made a seminar on eco-tourism, but there was no leading agency so it didn’t work out. However, that had not made Indriani broken. She even got motivated to do better next time.
In Indecon, the mother of Danin and Kinda has more to become a trainer. She used to give training to international NGOs such as from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Taiwan, in learning about eco-tourism. As a trainer, Indriani explained about the development process and how it all works in eco-tourism. “So it’s not just to be a guide only,” said Indriani.
Sometimes, she also led them to Rinjani National Park, West Bali National Park and Bunaken Marine National Park. In Rinjani, they learn to manage the one door management of the national park. “Bunaken has an administration board. In addition, it also has a Bunaken Management Board. They want to learn about them,” she explained. When providing the training, the wife of Dondy B. Sudjono can spend time from one to two weeks.
Her family doesn’t mind of her activities, they instead support Indriani’s activities because they have been scheduled on agenda. Indriani also hopes, the future of eco-tourism will grow even more. Because, many people are not only just interested in learning, but also to be players in terms of investment. (FGD)