The tourism sector may contribute to a huge part of a developing economy and have impressive social influences in each country, including Indonesia. However, with more and more countries promoting the business of tourism, brings to light significant negative impacts on the social systems, natural resources, and the lack of environmental sustainability. A combination between tourism and sustainability is urged to stem the tide of environmental damage in the future.
Three components of the sustainability principles, reffered as triple bottom line, contains; (1) Environmental aspect, that sustainable tourism has a low impact on natural resources, particularly in protected areas. It minimizes damage to the environment (flora, fauna, habitats, water, living marine resources, energy use, contamination, etc.) and ideally tries to add benefit to the environment; (2) Social and culturall aspects. It does not harm the social structure or culture of the community where it is located. Instead it respects local cultures and traditions. It involves stakeholders (individuals, communities, tour operators, government institutions) in all phases of planning, development, and monitoring, and educates stakeholders about their roles; (3) Economical aspect. It contributes to the economic wellbeing of the community, generating sustainable and equitable income for local communities and as many other stakeholders as possible. It benefits owners, employees and neighbors. It does not simply begin and then rapidly die because of poor business practices. The triple bottom line should be concerned to create long-term sustainability in tourism development. It means that running a tourism business can be profitable but should not bring damage to the economy, cultural and natural resources.
This research focuses on sustainable tourism development namely the Yogyakata Special Region (YSR) with a case study in Nglanggeran Tourism Village. YSR, officially called Yogyakarta, is a popular tourist destination after Bali and Jakarta. Located in the middle of Java island, it takes only about 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach from Bali (train and ferry). Yogyakarta is a famous icon of Javanese culture and the Sultanate Palace (1450s) was constructed there more than 550 years ago. Enriched with Javanese culture attractions, historical places and marvelous natural resources, the interests to visit Yogyakarta keeps growing rapidly year by year from both the domestic and international tourists’.
The great potential of the tourism industry in YSR is underlined by being awarded several international tourist awards. One such award is the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism award that Nglanggeran Tourism Village, Yogyakarta, received in the beginning of 2018. This achievement is not well broadcasted by the government, particularly in other local areas to further enhance the sustainably of tourism development. Therefore, the role and strategies of local government in YSR needs improvement and innovations.
The researcher challenge here is to investigate and analysis, and ultimately provide sound argues and recommendation on Sustainable Tourism in Indonesia: The Local Government’s Role and Strategies, as a case study of the Yogyakarta Special Region (YSR) in a qualitative way.
The investigation was carried out to better understand how to enhance the sustainable tourism development program in YSR and what are the local government’s strategies in tourism development toward sustainability in the YSR, if any.
This study found that (1) the local government has the most significant influence on sustainable tourism development especially for the implementation of tourism and biodiversity conservation and is fundamentally responsibility for many functions such as land use planning, labor and environmental regulations, construction of infrastructure, and then social and environmental services. However, to address the sustainability matter requires the mutual commitment from both the public and private tourism-related stakeholders to attain the best result; (2) the existence of the Tourism Awareness Group or Community-based tourism is essential to speed up the sustainable tourism in YSR; (3) the more developed the tourism industry is in a region, the more potencies of environmental damage may occur. As the dynamics of tourism development itself expands, the role and strategies of tourism-related stakeholders particularly local governments are urged to be in advance or at the very lease be in line with the expansion.
According to the findings and analysis, the researcher would argue a few recommendations points as; (1) To enhance sustainable tourism development in YSR, the local governments should review tourism related document policies. From the researcher’s viewpoint, the local government’s programs / actions are mostly only focusing on increasing the number of tourists visit but neglecting programs that will preserve the biodiversity and/or environment of each respective area. The findings of this case study show that if the tourism activities can be well-managed, even though the number of tourist’s visit decline, economic profit is still possible and can be optimized to generate adequate funds that can be funneled towards limiting environmental damage to the area. Therefore, tourism strategies should be improved and innovated periodically; (2) Due to the new international airport development in Kulon Progo regency, it is expected that economic development in the area will be well-spread out among the vicinity regencies and districts and not just focused on the central city in addition, the distance from the new international airport in Kulon Progo regency towards the Gunungkidul regency is approximately about 70-80 kilometers. Since there are so many tourism attractions in the Gunungkidul regency, it is recommended that Gunungkidul and Kulon Progo regencies solidly collaborate so that both will receive the benefits of tourism. As a first step, infrastructures connecting the two areas are to be urgently constructed; (3) It is essential to develop a more sustainable transportation mode connecting the various tourism destinations and thereby improve the general accessibilities of the nearby tourism destinations; (4) Local governments in the Yogyakarta Special Region (YSR) should fully support the existence of Tourism Awareness Group (POKDARWIS) or Community-based Tourism (CBT); (5) Tourist destination areas which are spread in the Yogyakarta Special Region (YSR) may follow the successful of Nglanggeran Village management. So that the sustainable tourism development in the Yogyakarta Special Region (YSR) can be improved.