Along with sustainable development, sustainable tourism aims to carry on an activity (tourism in our case) while minimising the negative impacts on destinations and populations visited.
In a world where everything is getting “green”, “organic”, “environment friendly”, “ethical”, “social” and “fair”, we must admit that the concept of sustainable tourism is becoming quite popular. It is used everywhere often with the sole purpose of marketing. In Indonesia like elsewhere, numerous agencies claim to do “ecotourism” or “green tourism” but in fact, the programs they offer and the way they work are not different from other agencies that don’t label themselves as green.
Far from marketing concerns and fully aware of this problem, Azimuth Adventure Travel Ltd decided to act in its own way, independently of any label or acknowledgement. We want to take concrete actions during our touristic activities because we understand that our tourism depends on the luxuriance of Indonesia’s nature and on the multiple cultures of its people so it seems obvious to us that we must protect them. Therefore, we have implemented several projects in order to act more responsibly and increase our commitment towards the protection of the environment.
Sadly, Indonesia like many other parts of the world, is filled with plastic rubbish. On certain trekking trails and around base camps we sometimes literally sink into thick layers of trash… Something has to be done. First, we focused on searching for practical and concrete solutions to keep isolated mountainous environments clean.
We began our work in two national parks with iconic volcanoes, Semeru and Rinjani. Hikes in both of these fire mountains are amongst the most popular and attractive, accordingly, trails to their peak are the most polluted.
Our partnership with these parks aims to find realistic solutions that would be economically viable and interesting while preserving the extraordinary beauty of the sites.
Looking for funds, promoting awareness of local populations and visitors, managing problems resulting from rubbish treatment in mountainous areas are just few of the concerns we are targeting.
Clean-up events start happening and seem to announce new management policies in those national parks. Eventually, our objective is to create partnership with all the great national parks of Indonesia.
More than casual actions with limited impact, we create a real substantive program even if the results might not be seen immediately, as long as over time, they are viable and sustainable.
The notion of sustainability is still new in Indonesia and our engagement is not only to struggle against the effects of tourism but extends to raising awareness of the local populations, their governments as well as the visitors, of course.
Through tourism our desire to act for the environment finds a channel.
Our tours represent the outcome of serious planning and they are designed as logically and efficiently as possible but we realize that it is not enough.
Gradually, we will review and redesign all our travel and trekking programs with a stronger implementation of the basic principles for respectful and responsible tourism.
We consider different ideas for future programs that would be more closely connected to local development with more financial benefit going to the local populations and different itinerary being studied. A new range of travel offers embracing those principles is on its way…
These few lines are not meant to polish our brand name at Azimuth Adventure Travel Ltd but to demonstrate that a lot needs to be done when we talk about sustainable tourism in Indonesia. Although the terms “sustainable communication” and “green marketing” have been commonly used for a number of years, it’s not clear if there is actually any improvement in the field. For our part, we are committed to take action in the country we cherish, Indonesia.