Asia Pacific is a region with the fastest tourism development in the world or 6% in average (world growth is 4%) and total visitors of 323 million in 2017 or a quarter of total world tourism. The growth of tourism in this area helped change global tourism sector and gave contributions to new tourism development models.
Asia Pacific countries – including Indonesia as an archipelago – have natural destination potential with maritime tourism attracting international tourists. But the region is also prone to disasters as it lies on the Ring of Fire. With this condition, a strategy is required to build resilience among all tourism destinations for them to be better prepared and quickly recover.
Policy and strategic plans and development that are disaster responsive thus became urgent and need to be implemented in tourism areas. These include spatial, building and environmental, infrastructure/facilities, institutional enhancement and community empowerment aspects.
Against this background, UGM in cooperation with University of Kent, UK, hosted International Workshop on Resilience and Coastal Tourism in Southeast Asia (RESCOAST-19) from 25-27 April 2019 at University Club (UC) UGM, which was joined by 36 participants from academics and practitioners/ expert/ policy makers from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, UK and Spain.
The Workshop aimed at exploring ideas and solutions as well as guidelines in order to build resilience of coastal tourism destination towards disaster potential. This was to support sustainable development and management of tourism destinations in Indonesia and Asia Pacific.
Prof. Ir. Wiendu Nuryanti, M.Arc., Ph.D., UGM Architecture professor, said the event was productive with results of recommendation to government as well as for next conference in the UK.
Wiendu explained the workshop made UGM the vocal point regarding tourism resilience against disaster in Indonesia. “UGM will set up a network to link experts with activists of tourism industry and government in Indonesia,” she said.
Meanwhile, Drs. Bambang Sunaryo, SU., M.Sc., public policy lecturer from UGM, said the workshop became an initial step for tourism resilience enhancement. He said it was time to formulate the right policy because in future, tourism would be the most strategic sector for the country.
Indra Ni Tua, ST., M.Comm., Assistant to Deputy Minister for Tourism, welcomed the recommendation and expressed readiness for cooperation to improving tourism resilience.
“Through UGM, we will receive recommendation for policy making based on coastal tourism mitigation. We would always try to make this beautiful country safe for society,” he said.