Sunday, 1 February 2009

By: Rahmadhani, M.Bus

I. Intriduction

In recent decades, tourism has emerged as the world’s single largest industry that will play a vital role in promoting future economic and social development contributing significantly to job growth and export earnings. Nature-based tourism (for the purpose of this writing is abbreviated “NBT”), as a form of tourism, representing an alternative to the mass tourism ventures has been a rapidly growing industry that is currently gaining a serious attention both from tourists and environmentalists. Precisely, by the early 1990’s, nature-related tourism has represented the most rapidly growing sector in transnational tourism and has significantly offered employment and income opportunities to local communities while allowing the continued existence and conservation of the natural resource base (Rennicks, 1997 and Gould, 1999).
There are potentially many good aspects of developing and managing NBT in terms of environment conservation, education and economic benefits for the welfare of local and indigenous community, but still some important issues need to be dealt with in terms of the adverse impacts of developing NBT. Identifying and assessing a potential destination for the development of NBT products is therefore considered vital for planning and developing NBT by tourism planners or tourism policymakers. Creating a model as part of identification and assessment of the NBT products by considering the following aspects: “levels of attraction, accessibility, presence of infrastructure and level of environmental degradation” will enable tourism planners to maximize the tourism benefits environmentally, economically and socio-culturally and to minimize their adverse impacts. Therefore, the first step towards effective planning for NBT is to systematically identify and assess the resource base for its potential development (Priskin, 2001).

2. Nature-based Tourism Development
Terminologically, much debate and confusion have surrounded the terms ‘NBT’ and ‘ecotourism’ in recent times. Not surprisingly, terms of ecotourism and NBT are often used interchangeably in many conferences, professional journals, books and projects reports. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the difference to effectively target each market segment. Tourism that features ‘nature’ is generally termed environmental or ‘nature-based tourism’, a broad term that includes a range of tourism experience including adventure tourism, ecotourism and other aspects of cultural and rural tourism. According to the Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is a sub-segment of this market that involves responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of the local people[2].
However, many experts have defined NBT and ecotourism in many different ways, ranging from the general to the specific definitions (see appendix 1 for selected ecotourism definitions quoted by Weaver, 2001). Nevertheless, Weaver describes NBT: “ is any type of tourism that relies on attractions directly related to the natural environment. Thus, ecotourism is a subset of nature-based tourism, allowing for the supplementary portion of ecotourism that focuses on the cultural attributes of destination (2001)” He also defines ecotourism as “a form of tourism that fosters learning experiences and appreciation of the natural environment, or some component thereof, within its associated cultural context. It has the appearance (in concert with best practice) of being environmentally and socio-culturally sustainable, preferably in a way that enhances the natural and cultural resources base of the destination and promotes the viability of the operation”.
From the definitions above, it can be summarized that sustainability of natural environment has been the major concern of such tourism. Weaver further describes other categories of NBT including 3S, adventure, captive, extractive and health (see appendix 2 for ecotourism activities in the context of NBT).
Adventure tourism is a very active form of tourism. It is often seen as outdoor recreation, where the tourist faces nature to experience risk. This type of tourism can be experienced all over the world. Nevertheless, to qualify as adventure tourism, Weaver (2001) stresses that an activity or product should incorporate three components: an element of risk, higher levels of physical exertion and a need for certain specialized skills to participate successfully and safely in the activity.
3S (sea, sand and sun) is another form of NBT with its reliance on sea, sand and sun. 3S tourism clearly fits under the category of NBT, but is often associated with large-scale and mass resort tourism. Meaning that some activities can qualify as both ecotourism and 3S tourism, ignoring for the moment the issue of whether ecotourism is also mass tourism (e.g. scuba diving, skindiving, etc.). These are typically associated with 3S tourism. Other 3S tourism activities may also be linked to adventure tourism, such as sea-dooing, surfing, waterskiing, windsurfing and health tourism, such as swimming (Weaver, 2001).
Tourism activity exhibiting captive flora and fauna or commonly called captive tourism is part of NBT activity. This can include aquariums, aviaries, arboretums, botanical gardens, garden tours, wildlife parks and zoos. However, Weaver (2001) argues that activities that involve captive flora and fauna are not normally associated with ecotourism, although there are many cases where the freedom afforded by wildlife parks and botanical gardens is comparable to that which is available in national parks or other protected areas. Associated activities in such situations may be ecotourism-related.
Extractive tourism or consumptive and non-consumptive tourism, such as beryypicking, fishing (e.g. catch and release, deep sea, ice fishing, offshore, spearfishing), fossicking, etc. are associated as NBT. Weaver, (2001) maintains that consumptive tourism is usually perceived as involving tangible products extracted from the natural environment, and is associated with hunting and fishing in particular (except arguably, for catch and release angling). In contrast, non-consumptive tourism is associated with the provision of intangible experiences, such as those offered by birdwatching and other forms of wildlife of nature observation (applegate & Clark cited by Weaver, 2001).
Meanwhile, health tourism is associated to nature-based tourism involving activities by using natural resource or environment as a means of health enhancement or treatment, such as mudbathing, nature retreats and spas (Weaver, 2001).

2.1 Issues on Promoting NBT
Undeniably, NBT has positive and negative impacts socially, economically and environmentally. From a negative viewpoint, the fragility of the protected areas is placed under increasing pressure to support the demands of the tourists and a growing tourist industry. If the carrying capacity of an area is exceeded then the environment may suffer irreparable damage, such as soils erode and compact, wildlife is disturbed, the sense of solitude and scenic quality are diminished or even lost.
On the other hand, it has the potential to be more ecologically sustainable than most extractive industries. Travelling to NBT destinations can enhance understanding and appreciation of the values of the natural world and distinctive cultural attributes, and contributes visitors’ commitments and host community to their protection, restoration and enhancement. Responsible tourism can also contribute funds for the better management of natural areas. Nevertheless, Jones at al. (2003) describe details of social, economic and environmental issues involved in NBT:
1. Socio-economic impacts:
- There is a poorly defined balance between promoting a natural attraction and inadvertently

destroying it.
- Can commercialise traditions (dances, crafts, ceremonies, etc).
- Can exaggerate dependence on outside sources (i.e. external corporate ownership)
- Subject to boom-bust cycles, therefore communities are highly vulnerable.
- Potential to be an excellent tool for community-based economic development
- Ecotourism can strengthen local & tourist connection with the land and societies.

2. Positive environmental issues:
- Foster conservation and preservation of natural, cultural and historical resources
- Encourages community beautification and revitalization
- Chance to enhance appreciation of natural environment.

3. Negative environmental issues:
- Excessive erosion and track formation
- Visitor-created trails
- Introduction of exotic species
- Trampling damage to plants
- Biological contamination
- Littering
- Wildlife mortality (i.e. increased traffic)
- Habitat destruction and loss
- Nuisance behaviour
- Alter natural behaviour pattern
- Dependency and habituation
- Oil and gas pollution in water and air
- Illegal hunting and fishing
- Disturb wildlife breeding sites
- Flight noise disturbances and aggression

3. Techniques/Methods for Assessing a Destination for NBT Attractions
NBT has been one of the fastest growing segments or attractions in the travel industry, fuelled by environmentally conscious travelers wanting to enjoy the wilds of nature. Tourism planners or policymakers in tourism, as the impact of a rapid growth of such tourism demand, should therefore consider evaluating and assessing natural potentials in their areas to be developed as potential NBT. Mitchell quoted by Priskin (2001) maintains that resources are an expression of appraisal and represent a subjective concept. The question of what constitutes a NBT resource and what factors add to or detract from the quality of a resource can be best answered by a systematic assessment of resource potential. This begins with identification, classification and assessment of resources (Davidson cited by Priskin, 2001). To promote tourists’ visits, the availability of such tourist attractions should be managed professionally according to types of particular tourism sites, uniqueness and accessibility. Weaver and Oppermann (2000) also comment that the ability of a destination to draw visitors depends on factors such as quality, quantity, diversity, uniqueness and accessibility of its attraction assets.
However, several methods or models for evaluating or assessing the NBT attractions are available. A study by Ferrario (1979), for example, has been a common method of tourism resource assessment. This study was conducted by combining expert knowledge and tourist opinions to evaluate tourist attractions in South Africa. Dowling (1993) also used similar methods by using tourist opinions, expert knowledge and resident opinions in evaluating attractions for eco-tourists in the Gascoyne Region in Western Australia. Meanwhile, economists have their own ways to evaluate NBT resources by using a technique called the “Contingent Market Evaluation” for determining tourists’ willingness to pay for a resource.
Furthermore, Michell at al. quoted by Priskin (2001) describe that NBT may also be evaluated on the basis of attractions or scenic quality using landscape assessment techniques and three general approaches:
1. Landscape consensus: involves a team of experts who designate area of high scenic value

based upon fieldwork, analysis of aerial photos and other materials.
2. Landscape descriptive studies: several or all of the landscape’s entity is inventoried and

described by experts.
3. Landscape evaluation: landscape preferences aiming to determine which aspects of the

environment are seen as attractive.

Priskin (2001) in turn has developed a method for assessment of NBT resources in the Central Coast Region of Western Australia. The assessment framework developed used both qualitative and quantitative techniques to evaluate and classify the resources of four major categories: levels of attraction, accessibility, supporting infrastructure and level of environmental degradation. Each category consists of a set of indicators in a matrix form. Each matrix used a different set of indicators, relevant to the category being assessed. Data were gathered using a checklist approach to quantify characteristics of sites. Resource assessment was completed using matrices with relevant indicators incorporating weighting techniques. A higher score indicated higher importance (see appendix 3 for Priskin’s Assessment Model). However, there are many other techniques or methods that are available for identifying and assessing the NBT attractions that will not be discussed here due to time constraints.

3.1 Priskin’s Assessment Model and its Weaknesses
As there are several techniques that can be used for identifying and assessing the NBT products, it is worth noting that the application of one technique can be varied to another in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, objectives, approaches and tourism supply and demand. Not to mention other external factors including types of geography and topography in one area to be assessed. All the techniques may have their own strengths and weakness in their applications.
On one hand, Priskin’s assessment model, for example, has been considered good, as it involves compilation of a matrix for evaluating and classifying the resources. It also consists of four major categories of NBT resources: attraction diversity, accessibility, supporting infrastructure and level of environmental degradation. Some improvement and adjustment are needed on the other. Amongst the components that need adjustment is the indicators used to evaluate the locations, as some of the indicators cannot be applied in some areas. Thus, this can lead to bias results when the total scores are analysed. The locations that do not have the listed attributes will get lower score even though sometimes they have other significant potentials or strengths.
Further, some indicators should be scientifically analysed by experts rather than by common people who do not specialize in a specific study. The fourth assessment category with ten indicators, for example, consisting of litter, weeds, disease, impact of fire, erosion, trampling of vegetation, destruction of dune, erosion of landforms, tracks and built structures. This category should be analysed by biologists to evaluate and achieve the expected level of environmental degradation.

4. Suggested Model for Assessing the NBT Products
The ecotourism activities in the context of NBT adapted by Weaver et al. (1999) can be alternatively an initial framework to create a model for identifying and assessing potential destinations for development of NBT products. Having been divided into six categories of NBT (adventure, ecotourism, 3S, captive, extractive and health), the model can be more developed and adjusted exhaustively according to other NBT activities. In other words, developing an assessment model can be comprehensively adjusted according to areas or countries with particular geography, topography and other specific activities done by indigenous people culturally. Other issues associated to the assessment model should be considered in terms of level of infrastructure, capital investment/funding, human resources/training, physical potentials that are required, positive and negative impacts towards local community economically, socio-culturally and environmentally.

5. Conclusions
As the demand of NBT has been growing rapidly and has significantly offered employment and income opportunities to local communities, creating an assessment model to identify and assess a potential destination for the development of NBT products is therefore considerably important by tourism planners or tourism policymakers. However, some indicators need to be considered when creating the assessment model, such as levels of attraction, accessibility, presence of infrastructure, level of environmental degradation, etc. By so doing, they will enable tourism planners to maximize the tourism benefits environmentally, economically and socio-culturally and to minimize their adverse impacts.


Cochrane, J. (1998), Organisation of Ecotourism in the Leuser Ecosystem. Leuser Management Unit.
Dowling, R. K. (1993), An Environmental Approach to Tourism Planning. Doctoral Thesis, Murdoch University, Murdoch.
Ferrario, F. (1979), The Evaluation of Tourist Resources: An Applied Methodology. Journal of Travel Research, 17 (3)
Jone, E., Landreville, K., et al. (2003), Nature-based Tourism, (visited October 10, 2003)
Gould, K. A. (1999), Tactical Tourism, Organization and Environment. Thousand Oaks: September 1999. Vol. 12, Iss. 3.
Priskin, J. (2001), Assessment of Natural Resources for Nature-based Tourism: the Case of the Central Coast Region of Western Australia, Tourism Management, Vol. 22.
Rennicks, J. S. (1997), Nature-based Tourism, Business and Economic Review. Columbia: Jan-Mar 1997. Vol. 43, Iss. 2.
Weaver, D. (2001), Ecotourism, John Wiley & Sons Australia
Wester, D. (1993), Defining Ecotourism, in Ecotourism: A Guide for Planners and Managers, ed. Lindberg, K, and Hawkins, D. E. (1993). 1st Ed. Vol. 1. The Ecotourism Society, North Bennington, VT
Weaver, D. & Oppermann, M. (2000), Tourism Management, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane (visited October 10, 2008) (visited October 10, 2008).

- An AusAID-based master graduate in Tourism Industrial Management of the Victoria University of Technology (VUT), Melbourne, Australia (2001-2003),
- Director for Tourism Promotion, Marketing Department, Aceh Tourism and Culture Agency, Indonesia, 2008 (Contact Person Number: Hp: +62 651 8126907873 Email:


Thursday, 29 January 2009

Peluang dan Tantangan Pengembangan dalam Upaya Mendukung Pemberdayaan Ekonomi Masyarakat
Oleh: Rahmadhani, M.Bus

1. Pendahuluan
Pembangunan Aceh kembali “Aceh’s Redevelopment” pasca konflik dan bencana melalui Program Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh menjadi momentum strategis dalam upaya mendukung percepatan pembangunan Aceh dalam berbagai aspek kehidupan untuk menuju kehidupan masyarakat Aceh yang lebih baik dan bermartabat. Membangun Aceh kembali menjadi lebih baik merupakan bagian Visi Gubernur dan Wakil Gubernur Provinsi Aceh Tahun 2007-2012 yaitu: “Terwujudnya perubahan yang fundamental pada segala sektor kehidupan masyarakat dan Pemerintahan Aceh, sehingga pada tahun 2012 Aceh akan tumbuh menjadi negeri makmur yang berkeadilan”.

Lahirnya UU No. 11/2006 tentang Pemerintahan Aceh sebagai konsequensi logis kesepakatan damai telah menghasilkan perhatian besar Pemerintah untuk menyerahkan kewenangan kepada Provinsi Aceh dan kabupaten/kota untuk mengatur dan mengurus sendiri urusan pemerintahan (kecuali urusan yang menjadi kewenangan Pemerintah) melalui pengelolaan “Tambahan Dana Bagi Hasil Minyak dan Gas Bumi dan Dana Otonomi Khusus” di Provinsi Aceh. Pemerintah Provinsi Aceh melalui pengalokasian dana tersebut diharapkan dapat melakukan percepatan pembangunan pada berbagai sektor, salah satunya pengembangan subsektor kepariwisataan di Provinsi Aceh.

Pengembangan industri pariwisata di dunia umumnya dan di Indonesia khususnya telah semakin berkembang begitu pesat. Perkembangan industri tersebut tidak hanya berdampak pada peningkatan penerimaan devisa negara, namun juga telah mampu memperluas kesempatan berusaha dan menciptakan lapangan pekerjaan baru bagi masyarakat dalam rangka mengurangi permasalahan pengangguran. Mengingat salah satu prioritas pembangunan Provinsi Aceh adalah menciptakan pemberdayaan ekonomi masyarakat, menciptakan lapangan pekerjaan dan mengentaskan kemiskinan, maka Provinsi Aceh yang terletak strategis pada ujung barat pulau Sumatera melalui paradigma baru pembangunan Aceh memandang perlu untuk siap mendukung percepatan ekonomi Aceh melalui subsektor pariwisata, sekaligus diharapkan dapat menghasilkan kontribusi penerimaan devisa bagi pemerintah daerah, memperluas kesempatan berusaha dan sekaligus menciptakan lapangan pekerjaan bagi masyarakat.

2. Permasalahan dan Tantangan Pengembangan Pariwisata Aceh
Provinsi Aceh memiliki potensi pariwisata yang sangat menarik yang didukung beragam kekayaan sumber daya alam dan seni budaya daerah. Letak yang sangat strategis dan berada pada kawasan Selat Malaka yang merupakan salah satu jalur pelayaran internasional sudah seharusnya menjadi peluang bagi Provinsi Aceh untuk mendukung pengembangan wisata unggulan internasional di kawasan paling barat Indonesia. Aceh memiliki sekitar 527 buah objek wisata yang telah terdata dan telah dikembangkan, namun masih memerlukan penataan dan pengembangan lebih lanjut. Objek wisata tersebut terdiri dari 288 objek wisata alam, 165 objek wisata budaya dan 74 objek wisata minat khusus yang tersebar di seluruh Provinsi Aceh. Semua objek wisata tersebut memiliki nilai jual dan daya tarik tersendiri bagi wisatawan dalam negeri dan luar negeri.

Akibat terjadinya berbagai permasalahan dan pengelolaan yang keliru (mismanagement) pada masa lalu, maka telah memberi dampak negatif pada upaya pencapaian keberhasilan pengembangan pariwisata Aceh masa kini. Konflik yang terjadi selama hampir 30 tahun, krisis ekonomi yang berkepanjangan, lemahnya kebijakan Pemerintah terhadap pemberdayaan dan pengembangan pariwisata Aceh sebagai sektor unggulan, masih tingginya ketergantungan penerimaan daerah pada sektor minyak dan gas (namun tanpa disadari kontribusi penerimaan sektor minyak dan gas semakin berkurang akibat cadangan yang semakin menurun), lemahnya kesadaran masyarakat untuk ikut memelihara aset-aset pariwisata daerah dan masih lemahnya keikutsertaan pihak swasta terhadap usaha-usaha pengembangan industri pariwisata, serta berakhir dengan bencana besar (gempa dan tsunami) pada akhir Desember 2004 menjadi permasalahan utama yang berperan menciptakan gambaran suram dan fenomena ketidakberhasilan industri pariwisata di Aceh. Indikasi kemunduran pariwisata Aceh dapat dirasakan penurunan jumlah wisatawan nusantara dan mancanegara yang berkunjung ke Aceh selama lima tahun terakhir (1999-2003). Terjadinya penurunan kunjungan wisatawan tersebut menunjukkan bahwa kondisi pariwisata Provinsi Aceh secara umum belum memberikan dampak positif dalam upaya menciptakan pemberdayaan ekonomi masyarakat, menciptakan lapangan pekerjaan dan mengentaskan kemiskinan, bila dibandingkan dengan daerah-daerah tujuan wisata unggulan lainnya di Indonesia, seperti Sumatera Utara, Bali, Jogya, Batam, dll.

Kondisi tersebut telah menimbulkan keprihatinan karena pada satu sisi Provinsi Aceh memiliki keragaman objek wisata yang menarik untuk dikunjungi. Namun, pada sisi lainnya masih banyak faktor-faktor penghambat, seperti ketersediaan sarana dan prasarana pendukung pariwisata yang masih perlu diperhatikan dan dibenahi dalam rangka menjadikan Provinsi Aceh sebagai Daerah Tujuan Wisata (DTW) unggulan pasca konflik dan bencana alam.

Peran Pemerintah bekerjasama dengan Pemerintah Daerah sebagai regulator, akselerator dan fasilitator pembangunan di daerah sangat diperlukan dalam upaya membangun kesan “aman dan nyaman” bagi para wisatawan dan sekaligus mendukung pengembangan perekonomian masyarakat Aceh melalui pemasaran produk-produk pariwisata daerah di dalam negeri dan luar negeri melalui penyusunan kebijakan yang dapat menggairahkan pasar industri pariwisata. Kebijakan tersebut seharusnya diuraikan secara sistematis dan terpadu dengan melibatkan peranserta seluruh para pemangku kepentingan (stakeholder), seperti masyarakat, pelaku usaha pariwisata, akademisi, tokoh masyarakat, dll. sebagai pelaku dan penerima manfaat ekonomi di daerah.

Konflik Aceh dan bencana tsunami yang telah menghancurkan seluruh sendi-sendi kehidupan masyarakat seharusnya tidak hanya cukup dirasakan sebagai sebuah “malapetaka”, sehingga masyarakat Aceh larut dalam kesedihan, kehilangan dan keterpurukan. Sebaliknya, malapetaka yang telah terjadi sudah seharusnya diubah dari sebuah tragedi yang menyedihkan menjadi peluang-peluang dalam rangka mencapai kemajuan masa depan Aceh yang selama ini tertinggal jauh “that the tsunami disaster should be a chance to turn tragedy into opportunity for the Acehnese in order to live prosperously and peacefully with a dignity”.

Selama berlangsungnya Proses Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh melalui keterlibatan hampir seluruh masyarakat dan lembaga-lembaga internasional telah menghasilkan berbagai peluang dalam bentuk kemajuan pembangunan pada berbagai sektor yang telah dicapai dan dibangun. Perlu diakui juga bahwa subsektor industri pariwisata Aceh juga telah mengalami paradigma kemajuan yang cukup signifikan, antara lain peningkatan jumlah wisatawan yang berkunjung ke Aceh, jumlah restauran dan toko-toko yang menjual barang-barang sovenir, travel biro dan jumlah hotel dan tingkat hunian hotel yang terus mengalami peningkatan. Mulai berkembangnya subsektor pariwisata di Provinsi Aceh melalui peningkatan kunjungan wisatawan dalam negeri dan luar negeri secara langsung akibat sudah terbukanya Aceh bagi masyarakat dunia untuk berkunjung ke Aceh serta peran langsung para relawan atau pekerja sosial nasional maupun internasional yang membantu pembangunan Aceh kembali.

Peningkatan sarana dan prasarana pendukung pariwisata yang dilakukan oleh Pemerintah, munculnya berbagai LSM yang bergerak pada sektor pariwisata di Aceh, sekaligus promosi-promosi wisata Aceh ke luar negeri oleh para pekerja sosial (NGO) yang dilakukan secara sukarela juga menandakan perhatian yang semakin serius terhadap upaya-upaya pengembangan pariwisata Aceh. Sarana dan fasilitas pendukung pariwisata yang berkembang selama Proses Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh terdiri dari 20 hotel berbintang, 25 Hotel dan homestay dengan total 1.910 kamar dengan kapasitas sekitar 3.820 orang dan 414 restoran dengan total meja 2.861 kapasitas sekitar 14.227 orang.

3. Isu Strategis Pengembangan Pariwisata Aceh
Proses Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh pasca gempa dan tsunami dan lahirnya Nota Kesepahaman Perdamaian antara Pemerintah RI dan GAM tanggal 15 Agustus 2005 telah menjadi momen penting dan strategis dalam rangka mendukung percepatan Pembangunan Aceh Kembali (Aceh’s Redevelopment). Lahirnya UU No. 11 Tahun 2006 tentang Pemerintahan Aceh sebagai konsequensi lahirnya Nota Kesepahaman Perdamaian antara Pemerintah RI dan GAM menjadi era baru menuju kehidupan masyarakat Aceh yang lebih baik dan bermartabat sesuai dengan Visi Pembangunan Gubernur dan Wakil Gubernur Provinsi Aceh Tahun 2007-2012 yaitu “Terwujudnya perubahan yang fundamental pada segala sektor kehidupan masyarakat dan Pemerintahan Aceh, sehingga pada tahun 2012 Aceh akan tumbuh menjadi negeri makmur yang berkeadilan”.

Dalam Nota Kesepahaman tersebut disebutkan bahwa ”.... Aceh dapat melakukan perdagangan dan investasi secara internal dan internasional sesuai dengan peraturan perundang-undangan. Selanjutnya, Pemerintah Aceh dan Pemerintah kabupaten/kota sesuai dengan kewenangannya dapat menarik wisatawan asing dan memberikan izin yang terkait dengan investasi dalam bentuk penanaman modal asing, ekspor dan impor dengan memperhatikan norma, standar dan prosedur yang berlaku secara nasional...” Pernyataan tersebut mengandung makna yang sangat strategis serta mendukung upaya-upaya pengembangan industri pariwisata Aceh ke depan.

Isu yang berkembang selama ini menyatakan bahwa industri pariwisata Aceh akan sulit berkembang akibat kurang mendapat dukungan dan partisipasi dari masyarakat secara langsung. Namun sebaliknya, pernyataan di atas menguat tabir bahwa GAM yang merupakan bagian dari masyarakat Aceh telah menyatakan pandangan yang positif terhadap prospek pengembangan pariwasata Aceh ke depan sebagai upaya mendukung percepatan ekonomi Aceh.

Komitmen GAM untuk menjadikan pariwisata sebagai salah satu sasaran pembangunan Aceh mungkin didasari pada pengalaman, pandangan dan pengetahuan mereka di luar negeri. Beberapa negara Islam seperti Turki, Mesir, Uni Emirat Arab, Maladewa, Malaysia dan beberapa negara Islam lainnya telah mengembangkan pariwisata sebagai sektor andalan dan ternyata keberhasilan yang diperoleh sangat signifikan dan industri pariwisata mereka telah mampu menjadi salah satu penghasil devisa terbesar di negara-negara tersebut.

Konsequensi lahirnya UU No. 11 sudah seharusnya menjadi sebuah pencerahan dalam rangka membangun ekonomi Aceh secara terpadu yang didukung dengan sumber daya keuangan yang besar melalui pengelolaan Tambahan Dana Bagi Hasil Minyak dan Gas Bumi dan Dana Otonomi Khusus di Provinsi Aceh. Namun demikian, Pemerintah Provinsi Aceh perlu melakukan reformasi arah dan strategi kebijakan pembangunan pariwisata daerah secara terpadu dengan anggaran yang tersedia, sehingga pembangunan Aceh dapat dilaksanakan dan dirasakan oleh seluruh mayarakat Aceh secara berkeadilan dan kemakmuran.

4. Kesimpulan
1. Pengembangan Pariwisata dan Kebudayaan Aceh dapat dilakukan sebagai sarana mendukung upaya pemberdayaan ekonomi masyarakat, penciptaan lapangan pekerjaan dan pengentasan kemiskinan. Untuk mendapatkan hasil yang optimal, maka perlu melibatkan peranserta masyarakat setempat dan para pemangku kepentingan lainnya. Pelibatan masyarakat tentunya memerlukan dukungan pemerintah untuk meningkatkan pendidikan, pelatihan dan penguatan kelembagaan/kapasitas.

2. Pengembangan Pariwisata dan Kebudayaan Aceh harus dilaksanakan secara terpadu dan terkoordinasi antar kabupaten/kota dan sektor terkait lainnya. Melalui kerjasama yang baik, promosi, peningkatan kualitas SDM, peningkatan penyediaan prasarana/sarana pendukung, penguatan kelembagaan dan mutu pelayanan akan lebih mudah dicapai.

3. Setiap pengembangan usaha pariwisata di Provinsi Aceh sebaiknya diawali dengan studi kelayakan dengan menggunakan indikator yang sesuai. Kepastian usaha pariwisata sangat penting untuk diperhatikan karena menyangkut dengan nilai dan jumlah investasi yang akan ditanamkan. Hal ini sangat diperlukan untuk menghindari terjadinya “hope project” yang tidak berdasarkan realita pengembangan di lapangan.

4. Wisata Alam (ekowisata) dan Budaya (Tsunami) dianggap sesuai untuk dikembangkan di Provinsi Aceh karena:
§ Provinsi Aceh memiliki kekayaan dan keanekaragaman hayati dan ekowisata yang bertumpu pada sumberdaya alam sebagai atraksi.
§ Ekowisata menitikberatkan pada pelibatan masyarakat lokal yang mencerminkan dua prinsip utama: edukasi dan wisata.
§ Provinsi Aceh juga memiliki keanekaragaman budaya dan istiadat yang memiliki nilai jual dan menarik minat wisatawan.
§ Wisata tsunami akan menambah daya tarik wisata Aceh dan menjadi salah satu icon pariwisata spiritual, sekaligus promosi wisata sejarah dan wisata GERILYA yang akan menjadi bahan renungan dan pembelajaran bagi kaum muda mengenai dampak perang terhadap perkembangan peradaban manusia (Positive long-term impact of major wars and other catastrophic events on the creation of tourist attraction in Aceh).

5. Penggabungan Dinas Kebudayaan dan Dinas Pariwisata Aceh akan menjadi peluang dan kekuatan dalam rangka mendukung pengembangan pariwisata dan kebudayaan secara terpadu, sinergi dan berkelanjutan melalui One Stop Service (Management). Untuk mencapai tujuan tersebut, kapasitas, kuantitas dan kualitas SDM aparatur yang memiliki pemahaman dan perilaku yang berorientasi kepariwisataan sangat dibutuhkan. Seluruh karyawan Dinas Kebudayaan dan Dinas Pariwisata Aceh mampu membangun dan mengadopsi prinsip-prinsip atau falsafah Sapta Pesona: Aman, Tertib, Bersih, Sejuk, Indah, Ramah Tamah dan Kenangan.

6. Pemberlakuan Syariat Islam di Provinsi Aceh tidak seharusnya dianggap sebagai penghambat pengembangan pariwisata Aceh. Sebaliknya, pemberlakuan Syariat Islam tersebut dapat memperkaya daya tarik wisata Aceh. Namun, diperlukan kemampuan dalam merancang bentuk pariwisata Aceh yang tepat sasaran dan sesuai dengan kondisi dan karakteristik daerah dan masyarakat.

7. Prinsip pengembangan pariwisata bersifat lintas sektor (multisector/multi-desciplinary) dan koordinatif, tidak dapat dilakukan secara parsial. Keterlibatan seluruh instansi teknis pemerintah sangat diperlukan dalam upaya mencapai visi dan misi pengembangan pariwisata Aceh, seperti Dinas Pendidikan (Pengembangan SDM), Dinas Kimpraswil (Pembangunan infrastruktur), Dinas Kehutanan dan Perkebunan (Pengembangan wisata hutan/Green Aceh Program dan Agrowisata Saree), Dinas Syariat Islam (Pengembangan dan Promosi Wisata Islami), BAPPEDA (Penyusunan Perencanaan dan Anggaran Pariwisata), Universitas (Pengembangan SDM dan sosialisasi kepariwisataan), Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata (seluruh program dan kegiatan pariwisata dan kebudayaan pada masing-masing bidang harus bersifat fokus, sinergi dan tidak tumpang tindih antar bidang), Perbankan (membantu penyaluran bantuan kredit/microfinance kepada masyarakat/kelompok pelaku industri pariwisata serta membangun daya saing), dll.

How Technology Is Changing the Hospitality Industry
(From Academic perspectives: Analyses of Academic Article)

By: Rahmadhani, M.Bus

The selected article “Experience-based Travel” highlights the current and future role of information technology in the hospitality sector of the tourism industry. Its main themes are the impact of information technology on the future customer’s purchasing behavior, its influences on the organizational and managerial practices in the human resource department and the alterations it brings to the traditional distribution channels.

The author has successfully acknowledged to the readers about the future impacts of information technology on the hospitality sector of tourism, and the issues it will raise for the industry. The main themes are explained with recent and some past examples from the tourism industry and invites the industry to become aware of the emerging issues due to changes in technology and prepare to face the challenges of the competitive but uncertain business marketing environment in order to explore better opportunities.

The research article highlights the main changes that will be supported in the future by any change in information technology. Accordingly there will be a change in the customer’s behavior about brand loyalty, the role of traditional intermediaries will diminish and an incredible alteration is on the way for the human resources management decision-making process in the hospitality sector.

The research findings warn about the information technology drivers of change and their future impact on the hospitality sector. It indicates that connected computers will provide direct access to information and greater opportunities in order to redesign an organizational policy to communicate its internal and external potential market. The cyber pass regulations, data mining process, and further training and education facilities for executives will change the nature of the hospitality business environment

It cautions that the financial issues will be a big challenge with the emergence of investment in technology and will create barriers to the hospitality sector, where the customer’s behavior and the market’s future is unpredictable.

Consequently the drivers of change will introduce a customer in the hospitality market who will be least brand loyal, more knowledgeable and will insist on more customized services. The hospitality industry will have to provide the best product, and invest in innovative marketing strategies and tactics to retain the future disloyal customer.

The research findings have concluded that the gatekeeper and matching techniques will be a better solution of the problem. (The gatekeeper’s role in the industry on the supply side provides help to the customer in order to maximize the desired travel experience; however the Matching principal is to provide the best match to the customer from the organization’s service portfolio). Accordingly the customer focused marketing practices in the future will empower the customer resulting in a higher service demand on the suppliers. Human resource management will recruit more information technology educated, highly intelligent, socially aware employees who can perform managerial tasks.

Industrial Perspective
A collection of articles from industrial journals and magazines were gathered in order to analyze industrial views on the role of information technology in regard to distribution and communication channels in the hospitality sector with the focus on the use of information technology in terms of the worldwide web internet, and computerized systems in the tourism industry. The industrial perspective about the issues is raised as follows:

Website technology
The Internet, for example, is having a huge impact on how we conduct our lives and our business dealings, and has a major effect on the way in which tourism and hospitality products are distributed by redefining how travelers discover and purchase tourism products. Sawyer, Srathongrod and Cordes (2001) points out that the travel industry is probably the best example of an industry that has been profoundly transformed by technology. They further describe that the single most important factor bridging tourism supply and demand is information technology that has changed the way that the travel and tourism industry does business.

Computerized technology
In the hospitality industry, IT (information technology) has been extensively used for more than twenty years and now is still being used it in different ways. As mentioned by Buhalis (1994) that information technology has been one of the most important strategic weapons of tourism and hospitality organizations since the early 1970s. IT helps companies meet the challenges of new environments and demands and brings to the end-users new options at a more competitive price.

However, today IT has provided tools for management and marketing that have enhanced the capabilities of organizations, such as by providing Computerized Reservation Systems (CRS). By it was not until the mid 1980s that the system was initially introduced in to the hospitality industry, such as Holiday Inns, Sheraton and Marriott.

Software and hardware systems
Furthermore, software, hardware, information management, and telecommunications systems have allowed for the processing and flow of information among organizations in the travel industry. Many sources claim that the way in which tourism organizations take advantage of IT tools will determine their future success in the marketplace. The tourism and hospitality industry has considered the importance of the IT trend by implementing an effective IT system for marketing, distribution, promotion and co-ordination of the industry.

IT and Human Resources in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry
However, the tourism and hospitality industry with employees of poor human resources in adopting information technology will result in negative customer service quality. In other words, the HR managers in the hospitality industry have realized how IT will allow the company to leverage the HR investment in a way that will enable the company to respond to HR needs and challenges efficiently and effectively in a timely manner. Withiam (2000) states that the success of a hotel chain has long depended on excellent operations, marketing and human resources. Sunoo (1995) states seven targets of opportunity or areas where there is the most potential to improve the HR functions through the use of information technology:
a. Speed handling vast quantities of data quickly and efficiently
b. Accuracy reducing the propensity of human error involved in data handling
c. Memory maintaining and rapidly accessing historical files
d. Comprehensiveness automating a wide array of HR functions
e. Availability making information available to more users in department in and outside HR
f. Objectivity increasing the use of factual or objective data in decisions related to employees
g. Economy reducing the operational and paperwork costs associated with HR

Furthermore, there are eight powerful forces with implications for the use of technology at work that impact on employees in today’s world:
a. As individuals we are learning to take more control of the things that affect us
b. We are getting more comfortable interfacing with devices, many of which have a computer imbedded in them
c. We are coming to expect and use services that operate continuously
d. We are learning how to obtain comparative information that allows us to make better decisions
e. We are less afraid of using technology to help us make critical decisions that affect our lives
f. We expect assurances that the transactions we initiate are correct, that they can be reversed if necessary, and that we can receive feedback about them
g. We demand speed: we dislike waiting for a system to download the next input or for a transaction to take an inordinate amount of time
h. We can, when necessary, reach out and interact with the highest authority in a company providing a particular service.

However, supporting the changes in the new economy will be a vast pool of talented human capital anxious to bring new ideas and new technologies to bear on the traditional ways of doing business and, in doing so, steadily increase the pace of productivity improvement. If the hospitality industry is to respond to this coming reality, it will need to address some of its most vexing challenges, particularly those relating to the recruitment, training and development of human capital. The human capital inventory for an e-business will require entrepreneurship, as well as visionary leadership, strength in sales and marketing and commitment to customer relationship management (Cline, 2000).

In addition, effective implementation of technology can decrease costs and increase efficiency. It can leverage resources and aid decision-making processes. IT can enhance guest services, keep the organization up-to-date with information and provide new opportunities for growth and expansion.

It is crucial that tourism enterprises take advantage of the emerging technologies in order to improve management abilities and develop sound business plans focusing on the most efficient means of delivering value added products and services to customers. In this respect, tourism organizations will be able to maintain a competitive advantage over those who are not technologically advanced.

The importance of information with the view that tourism involves the movement, accommodation, entertainment and general servicing of clients from one geographical location to another. These activities must be combined differently, integrated and packaged to suit complex and rapidly changing consumer requirements. Services in terms of hotel bed nights, car rental, package tours and airline seats are not physically transferred to travel agents who in turn stock them until sold to customers. Rather, it is information about availability, price, quality, location and convenience of these services that is communicated and processed. However, the tourism and hospitality industry has grown fast and depends on IT to carry out its day-to-day business operations. Through reservation systems it can reach new, larger markets collect better guest information and deliver more personalized, consistent service.

The impacts on customer behavior and marketing
Many studies reveal that of all the technical developments in the hospitality and tourism industries, the Internet is the prime mover as it is the one currently having the greatest impact on the business environment and will be the distribution channel of the future (TTS, 2000).

It is clear that the Internet is having a huge impact on how people conduct their lives and businesses. In the United States, it took 38 years for television to get into 50 million homes, but for the Internet, it took just five years (Cline, 2000).

According to the study that surveyed 1,351 leisure and 1,200 business travelers on 30th April 2002 and that was carried out by Yesawich, Pepperdine, and Brown (, 2003), 39% of leisure American travelers think that the Internet is easier and faster to use for travel planning than a travel agent. The figures prove extremely important, not only for the future of the tourism sector but also on a behavioral point of view. This indicates how positively the Internet has been developing in the last few years such as the improvement of their interfaces as well as their very rich contents and offers which now allows more than a third of American leisure travelers to use the Internet rather than a travel agent.

The study also provides that with 58.5% of the American population who uses the Internet, 66% of them think that the services provided by their travel agent are not as good as the ones provided by tourism websites.

Cline (2000), in another study, provides that for those U.S. consumers that are online, four out of five believe that the Internet is the best invention ever and six out of ten prefer e-mail to paper mail for business correspondence and over one in four check their e-mail while on vacation. This would imply that only a third of Internet users nowadays prefer dealing with a travel agent as compared to a website and that is something to be concerned about in this trade.

The Internet is also changing the customer relationship that it is undermining and redirecting the customer’s attention to new sellers of products and services and away from their traditional relationships. And as this occurs, the traditional approaches that hospitality and tourism businesses have taken to distribution are all being affected.

The study also provides that 32% of the American leisure travelers who were polled made a reservation on the Internet in the last twelve months while a year ago only 25% of them claimed making a reservation on the Internet (Yesawich, Pepperdine, and Brown, 2002). This is a huge increase as it corresponds to a 28% growth in just a year, which leads to the declining role of the travel agent.

Impacts on customer satisfaction
The Internet is changing where and how customers search for hotel accommodation as well as what they expect hotels to provide. According to Comscore Networks data (cited in Yesawich, Pepperdine, and Brown, 2002), it indicates that one out of three Americans now uses the Internet to make a reservation. The benefits from accessing these Internet facilities of the group studied found that, first; they will have many new places to look and book accommodation as well as other tourism products. Next, they will have a variety of choices in seeking and selecting travel as well as accommodation to match their situation or destination needs. So, they are likely to be less loyal to brand images. Finally, those travelers’ options will be simplified in respect to the purchasing process as a result of smart software that will be introduced in filtering unnecessary information.

Impacts on real time and consistency
The reality today is that the balance of power is shifting from sellers to buyers and in so doing it makes the importance of delivering high quality services, convenience, and value for money ever more compelling (Cline, 2000). The Internet has clearly leveled the playing field by making price information broadly available to the consumers. In addition, consumers require both convenience and consistency. The study reveals that those in the group studied want information and they want it fast.

If some hospitality companies or travel providers do not deliver convenience, than somebody else inevitably will (Comscore Networks, 2002 cited in eTourism, 2002). According to Nielson Netratings (, 2002), 90% of business and/ or leisure travelers consider that the most important function on an Internet Web site is to have access to the lowest fares, flights, hotels or car rentals as well as other special offers.

Moreover, customers also looking for consistency, though it is a simple concept, it is central to whether a brand has value or not as well as the sites that have been searched are more reliable. According to Nielsen Netratings (, 2002), there are top ten sites that registered a higher number of visits in March 2002. They are ranked in order as follows:
 Expedia (with 11.6 million unique visitors)
 Travelocity (with 10.2 million unique visitors)
 Orbitz (with 6.5 million unique visitors)
 Southwest Airlines (with 5.2 million unique visitors)
 Cheap tickets (with 4.4 million unique visitors)
 American Airlines (with 4.2 million unique visitors)
 Yahoo! Travel (with 4.2 million unique visitors)
 Delta Airlines (with 3.9 million unique visitors)
 Priceline (with 3.8 million unique visitors)
 AOL travel (with 3.6 million unique visitors)

Impacts on business model
Technology is redefining and reshaping the hospitality and tourism industries in many aspects. According to the debate conducted by the hospitality executives, consultants, and developers of tech-based products and services at the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHARA) (TTS, 2000), the think tank on technology recognizes the huge changes that are occurring in the way business is being conducted and planned in earnest as to how they will respond to the advancement of technology. The discussion finds that the roles of technology that play in the hotel industry, especially Guestlink Global System, will constitute to the hotels’ principal assets in the following ways:
 Knowledge will replace location as the key to competitive advantage
 The speed at which hotels convert data to knowledge and apply it to create unique, value adding experiences
 Rather than a place to sleep, the hotel itself must become a packager of products, services, and experiences
 Controlling guest data and opportunities for building relationships with the customers
 Increase emphasis on bottom line performance and efficient use of resources; less emphasis on craft, more on business and technology related acumen
 The hotel of the future will be a multi-use facility like a shopping mall with multiple concepts both competing and complementary with the possibility of brands from different companies run by the same or different managers
 The trends will include technologically sophisticated hotels without staff, customizable hotel rooms, and the elimination of paper invoices by introducing smart cards

In 1994, Thomas Cook, an international travel company with its own travel agency network, piloted a kiosk at its Marble Arch shop in London. Using a 43-centimetre screen, integrated video link telephone handset, credit card reader and laser printer, the kiosk allowed the customer for the first time to access electronic versions of the company’s 1994 City Breaks and EuroDisney brochures. Bookings can be made via a link-up to a Thomas Cook sales representative who appears as a live image on the screen (Marion, 1995). In 1999, Sun City claimed to be the first hotel in South Africa has applied In-Room Internet TM via the new Guestlink Global System, a web-based productivity, and entertainment and communication tool for business leisure travellers.

Soon, to remain competitive, other top hotels are scrambling to install systems that add Internet connectivity and e-mail to traditional hotel systems in ways that makes sense both economically and from a guest relation’s viewpoint.

Tourism industry business success is based on the customer driven market and is strongly influenced by the social, political, and economic business environment. There is an urgent need of cooperative research from both industry and academic schools of thought in order to solve the industrial requirements and provide a realistic insight into the future academic researcher work. Because in the near future the advance of technology will connect the industry and academics together and their success will depend upon their mutual cooperation and so providing excellent results in the tourism industry.

There is the need for the developing part of the world to contribute in the ongoing tourism industry’s academic and industrial research, as tourism is globalizing. A selected article from an academic publication and a range of collections from industrial publications don’t highlight the issues in regard to the developing part of world, but it provides mainly the western perspectives of the issues raised. Due to the inequality of the global economy there will be an increased disparity between users and non-users on the advanced information technology. It is recommended that further research be conducted to bring about a resolution of the issues mentioned above.

It is recommended that future research should be conducted on the business ethics and socio-economic issues that will be raised as a result of technology change and their impact on the tourism industry in the global tourism market.

Bibliography/electronic resources
Comscore Networks. Online Travel. Available: (08/4/2008), 2002. e-Commerce. Available: (08/4/2008), 2002. e-Metrics. Available: (08/4/2008)
Marion, B. 1995. Travels into the Future. Geographical Magazine, 0016741X, Feb95, Vol. 67, Issue 2. Available: (08/4/2008)
Nielsen Netratingsx (pdf), 2002. 51.2 Million Surfers, A 12% Increase between February and March 2002 on Travel Sites. Available: (08/4/2008)
Tomorrows Technology Solution, 2000. Technology will Drive Change in the Hospitality Industry. Available: (08/4/2008)
Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown/Yankelovich Partners, 2002. e-Commerce. Available:, (08/4/2008).

Paradigma Baru Pengembangan Ekonomi Daerah Sektor Non Migas
By: Rahmadhani, M.Bus

1. Penilaian Potensi dan Hambatan
Secara umum Aceh memiliki potensi pariwisata yang sangat menarik yang didukung beragam kekayaan sumber daya alam dan seni budaya daerah. Letak yang sangat strategis yang berada pada kawasan Selat Malaka yang merupakan salah satu jalur pelayaran internasional seharusnya menjadikan Aceh peluang pengembangan wisata unggulan internasional di kawasan barat Indonesia. Aceh memiliki sekitar 527 buah objek wisata yang telah terdata dan telah dikembangkan, namun masih memerlukan penataan dan pengembangan lebih lanjut. Objek wisata tersebut terdiri dari 288 objek wisata alam, 165 objek wisata budaya dan 74 objek wisata minat khusus.

Beberapa permasalahan utama muncul dan telah berdampak negatif pada keberhasilan pengembangan pariwisata Aceh. Konflik yang terjadi selama hampir 30 tahun, lemahnya kebijakan Pemerintah terhadap pengembangan pariwisata Aceh sebagai sektor unggulan ekonomi daerah, sekaligus masih tingginya ketergantungan PAD pada sektor MIGAS (namun, tanpa disadari kontribusi penerimaan dari sektor MIGAS semakin berkurang karena cadangan MIGAS semakin menurun) dan masih lemahnya kesadaran masyarakat dan pihak swasta terhadap pengembangan potensi industri pariwisata, telah menjadi gambaran suram dan fenomena ketidakberhasilan industri pariwisata di Aceh.

Proses Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh pasca gempa dan tsunami tanggal 26 Desember 2004 dan lahirnya Nota Kesepahaman Perdamaian antara Pemerintah RI dan GAM tanggal 15 Agustus 2005 telah menjadi momen penting dan strategis dalam rangka mendukung percepatan Pembangunan Aceh Kembali (Aceh’s Redevelopment) pasca konflik dan bencana. Lahirnya UU No. 11 Tahun 2006 tentang Pemerintahan Aceh sebagai konsequensi lahirnya Nota Kesepahaman Perdamaian antara Pemerintah RI dan GAM menjadi era baru menuju kehidupan masyarakat Aceh yang lebih baik dan bermartabat sesuai dengan Visi Pembangunan Gubernur dan Wakil Gubernur Provinsi Aceh 2007-2012 yaitu “Terwujudnya perubahan yang fundamental pada segala sektor kehidupan masyarakat dan Pemerintahan Aceh, sehingga pada tahun 2012 Aceh akan tumbuh menjadi negeri makmur yang berkeadilan”.

Dalam Nota Kesepahaman disebutkan bahwa ”.... Aceh dapat melakukan perdagangan dan investasi secara internal dan internasional sesuai dengan peraturan perundang-undangan. Selanjutnya, Pemerintah Aceh dan Pemerintah kabupaten/kota sesuai dengan kewenangannya dapat menarik wisatawan asing dan memberikan izin yang terkait dengan investasi dalam bentuk penanaman modal asing, ekspor dan impor dengan memperhatikan norma, standar dan prosedur yang berlaku secara nasional...” Pernyataan tersebut mengandung makna yang sangat strategis dalam upaya pengembangan pariwisata Aceh ke depan. Isu yang berkembang selama ini menyatakan bahwa pariwisata Aceh akan sulit berkembang karena kurangnya dukungan dari masyarakat. Namun sebaliknya, pernyataan di atas menguat tabir bahwa GAM yang merupakan bagian dari masyarakat Aceh telah menyatakan pandangan yang positif terhadap prospek pengembangan pariwasata Aceh ke depan sebagai upaya mendukung percepatan ekonomi Aceh.

Komitmen GAM untuk menjadikan pariwisata sebagai salah satu sasaran pembangunan Aceh mungkin didasari pada pengalaman, pandangan dan pengetahuan mereka di luar negeri. Beberapa negara Islam seperti Turki, Mesir, Uni Emirat Arab, Maladewa, Malaysia dan beberapa negara Islam lainnya telah mengembangkan pariwisata sebagai sektor andalan dan ternyata keberhasilan yang diperoleh sangat signifikan dan industri pariwisata mereka telah mampu menjadi salah satu penghasil devisa terbesar di negara-negara tersebut.

Selama Proses Rehabilitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh telah dibangun berbagai sarana dan fasilitas pendukung pariwisata yang tersebar di berbagai kabupaten/kota di Aceh antara lain:
a. 20 hotel bintang, 25 Hotel dan homestay dengan total 1.910 kamar dan kapasitas 3.820 Orang
b. 414 rumah makan/restoran dengan total meja 2.861 dan kapasitas sekitar 14.227 orang.

Aceh pasca bencana mulai dikenal oleh berbagai negara luar. Dari jumlah wisatawan yang berkunjung ke Aceh, dari segi tingkat hunian hotel telah terjadi peningkatan tajam yang disebabkan oleh banyaknya relawan atau pekerja sosial nasional maupun internasional yang membantu rehabilitasi pasca tsunami.

2. Pengembangan Pariwisata Aceh berdasarkan Analisa SWOT (Strength Weakness, Opportunity and Challenge

Kekuatan (Strength):
1. Proses Rehablitasi dan Rekonstruksi Aceh pasca konflik dan bencana,
2. Memiliki objek dan daya tarik yang beragam.
3. Akses yang sangat baik ke negara tetangga seperti Malaysia, Singapura, Thailand, India, Cina dan sebagainya
4. Terbangunnya kelengkapan akomodasi, seperti hotel, restoran, angkutan wisata, souvenir, money changer, travel biro, pramuwisata
5. Masyarakat yang ramah dan terbuka
6. Aneka ragam tarian dan kesenian
7. Kerajinan, ukiran dan motif, adat istiadat dan Religi
8. Aceh Green Program directly supported by Aceh Governor
9. Post War/Conflict based tourism (Guerilla tourism). Pariwisata pasca gerilya GAM
10. Meningkatnya keinginan masyarakat Aceh melakukan Ibadah Haji sebagai bagian dari wisata religi
11. Penggabungan Dinas Kebudayaan dan Dinas Pariwisata menjadi Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata, sehingga menjadi focus pembangunan pariwisata dan kebudayaan melalui One Stop Service/Managemen.

Kelemahan (Weakness):
1. Kegiatan dan ragam usaha jasa pariwisata masih terbatas
2. Kondisi dan pengelolaan Daerah Tujuan Wisata (DTW) belum optimal
3. Belum ada Sarana transportasi internasional
4. Kualitas sarana pariwisata seperti hotel dan restoran belum memadai
5. Promosi terbatas dan Sarana dan Prasarana DTW kurang memadai
6. Perencanaan Sistem pariwisata dan DTW belum maksimal
7. Kesiapan masyarakat dan SDM
8. Minat Investasi dan kerusakan DTW pantai akibat bencana tsunami

Peluang (Opportunity):
1. Perhatian dan simpati masyarakat internasional terhadap Aceh pasca konflik dan bencana
2. Meningkatnya industri pariwisata internasional sebagai industri Non Migas dan ramah lingkungan (smokeless industry) dan Isu perubahan iklim (climate changes)
3. Kesadaran masyarakat internasional terhadap pengembangan pariwisata (back to nature)
4. Daya tarik wisata internasional ke Aceh pasca konflik dan tsunami sebagai wisata budaya, pendidikan, emosional dan agama.
5. Lokasi strategis Akses ke negara seperti Malaysia, Singapure, Thailand, India, dll.
6. Dikenal dunia Internasional
7. Sejarah Aceh dan hubungan sejarah internasional

Ancaman (threat):
1. Meningkatnya kerusakan DTW
2. Gencarnya pembangunan kawasan pariwisata internasional dan daerah-daerah unggulan lainnya seperti Bali, Lombok, Sumatera Utara, Singapura, Malaysia, Thailand, dll.
3. Isu keamanan global (terorisme) dan stabilitas politik dalam negeri dan luar negeri
4. Kebijakan Pemerintah Pusat dan organisasi-organisasi pariwisata internasional

Berdasarkan dari analisa SWOT dapat dirumuskan potensi dan hambatan sebagai berikut:

D. Potensi
a. Pembangunan pariwisata mempunyai pengaruh “multiplier effect” yang sangat besar pada sektor ekonomi dan Provinsi Aceh memiliki potensi pariwisata yang lengkap seperti alam, bahari, budaya, peninggalan sejarah dan wisata tsunami
b. Adanya berbagai daya tarik wisata.
c. Mudah diakses dari negara-negara tetangga, misalnya Malaysia, Singapura, Thailand, India.
d. Adanya pelabuhan udara dan laut.
e. Sudah dikenal dunia internasional.
f. Komitmen pemerintah membangun ekonomi Aceh melalui pariwisata daerah

E. Hambatan
a. Akibat konflik dan tsunami menyebabkan kerusakan DTW, sarana dan prasarana pariwisata khususnya di sekitar pantai barat Aceh dan kemunduran kreatifitas dan inovasi,
b. Pemahaman masyarakat yang rendah terhadap sektor pariwisata sebagai suatu aktifitas yang dianggap negatif dan merusak moral generasi muda.
c. Kualitas SDM yang belum memenuhi standar dalam usaha pelayanan dan pengelolaan pariwisata (perhotelan, biro perjalanan wisata dan pramuwisata).
d. Jaminan keamanan dan stabilitas politik yang belum relatif kondusif.
e. Investasi yang sangat besar dan waktu yang panjang untuk menjadi pariwisata sebagai sektor andalan.

E. Strategi
Dengan memperhatikan berbagai potensi dan kemungkinan hambatan yang ada, maka perlu dirumuskan strategi dan rencana kegiatan sebagai berikut.
a. Peningkatan rehabilitasi sarana dan prasarana pariwisata yang rusak akibat tsunami.
b. Peningkatan peran serta semua lapisan masyarakat dalam masyarakat ekonomi pariwisata.
c. Penetapan dan pengembangan kawasan wisata unggulan guna menjadi prime mover bagi wilayah wisata lainnya.
d. Peningkatan promosi wisata baik dalam/ luar negeri.
e. Meningkatkan pengetahuan pengelola wisata terhadap standar pelayanan dan pengelolaan DTW, Hotel, Biro Perjalanan dan Restoran.

F. Rencana Aksi
1. Mempercepat upaya-upaya perbaikan sarana dan prasarana pariwisata, potensi pariwisata seperti alam, bahari, budaya, peninggalan sejarah dan wisata tsunami.
Terjadinya tsunami pada akhir tahun 2004 menyebabkan sarana dan prasarana pariwisata, utamanya yang berlokasi dekat pantai mengalami kerusakan yang sangat parah dan praktis tidak dapat dimanfaatkan lagi. Kegiatan ini bertujuan agar pemerintah daerah menyediakan sarana dan prasarana dasar yang dibutuhkan oleh pelaku industri pariwisata serta menfasilitasi partisipasi sektor swasta (domestik dan asing) dalam mendorong percepatan pemulihan sarana dan prasarana sektor swasta. Disamping melaksanakan pembangunan infrastruktur dasar untuk lokasi-lokasi pariwisata (utamanya yang rusak karena tsunami), diharapkan pemerintah juga dapat menyediakan sejumlah insentif dan penyederhanaan birokrasi perizinan, sehinga investasi sektor swasta (domestik dan asing) dapat terjadi. Kegiatan ini direncanakan selama tahun 2008 – 2012.

2. Penyuluhan dan pembentukan kelompok-kelompok sadar wisata khususnya di sekitar obyek wisata.
Salah satu faktor yang mendukung pengembangan sektor pariwisata adalah keterlibatan masyarakat, khususnya yang bertempat tinggal di sekitar lokasi pariwisata.
Keterlibatan positif dari masyarakat sekitar lokasi akan membantu menciptakan memberikan persepsi yang baik bagi setiap pengunjung terhadap lokasi pariwisata tersebut. Untuk itu, kegiatan ini bertujuan melakukan penyadaran dan pembentukan kelompok-kelompok sadar wisata disetiap lokasi pariwisata di Provinsi NAD yang pada gilirannya nanti akan menjadi ujung tombak dalam pembentukan persepsi pengunjung. Kegiatan ini direncanakan selama tahun 2008 – 2012.

3. Meningkatkan promosi pariwisata baik di dalam maupun di luar negeri melalui pameran atau penulisan artikel tentang pariwisata Aceh.
Setelah terjadinya Tsunami dan tercapainya kesepakatan Helsinki, pada dasarnya Provinsi NAD memiliki modal dasar yang kuat dalam rangka promosi pariwisata yang dimilikinya. Jaminan keamanan yang menjadi faktor utama untuk terjadinya kunjungan pariwisata pada prinsipnya sudah dimiliki. Meskipun demikian, karena konflik yang berkepanjangan dimasa lalu, maka bisa dikatakan bahwa potensi pariwisata yang dimiliki Provinsi NAD tidak banyak diketahui oleh wisatawan domestik dan mancanegara. Untuk itu, kegiatan ini bertujuan mempromosikan berbagai potensi pariwisata yang dimiliki Provinsi NAD, dengan menggunakan berbagai macam media promosi, termasuk pameran dan penulisan artikel tentang pariwisata Provinsi NAD. Kegiatan ini direncanakan selama tahun 2008 – 2012.

4. Meningkatkan sumber daya manusia kepariwisataan khususnya bagi pengelola pariwisata seperti perhotelan, biro perjalanan dan pelatihan pramuwisata.
Faktor lain yang sangat menentukan pengembangan potensi pariwisata Provinsi NAD adalah kapasitas (jumlah dan keahlian) sumberdaya manusia yang terlibat di sektor pariwisata (hulu ke hilir). Sumberdaya manusia tidak hanya terfokus di sektor pemerintah saja, tetapi lebih penting lagi adalah sektor swasta, baik yang terlibat secara langsung ataupun tidak langsung dalam pengembangan pariwisata Provinsi NAD. Untuk itu kegiatan ini bertujuan meningkatkan kapasitas sumberdaya manusia sektor pemerintah dan sektor swasta dalam pengembangan pariwisata Provinsi NAD, baik melalui pelatihan, studi banding, dsb. Kegiatan ini direncanakan selama tahun 2008 – 2012.

5. Menetapkan dan mengembangkan kawasan wisata unggulan untuk menjadi primemover wisata

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Presented during a Training Course on “Modern Hotel Management”
in Ha`erbin City, Hailongjiang Province, China
By: Rahmadhani, M.Bus [1]


Undeniably, wars and catastrophic events have given negative impacts towards human lives. They can heavily damage all aspects of lives -- social, economic, cultural, political, educational and environmental. The First and Second World Wars and Aceh Tsunami in the last December 2004 are such horrific examples that have truly been unforgettable frightening nightmares within human life. They had resulted in the deepest misery, loss and devastation for those living within the periods, not to mention thousands of people were tragically killed and lost their family members during the tragedies.
On the other hand, from the tourism point of view as one of world’s rapid growing economic industries, such wars or other catastrophic events will result in positive impacts for people. Creating and maintaining post-war historic and Tsunami sites, for example, have become significant markets of tourism destinations in the efforts to increase valuable foreign exchange and job opportunities for the locals.

I. Introduction
Tourism has emerged as an industry that will play a vital role in promoting future economic and social development. It is an industry that will impact on diverse range of economic activities and contribute significantly to job growth and export earnings. Thomson (1998) mentions that tourism is also an industry, which if carefully managed, can help conserve unique natural and cultural heritage. As tourism is also associated with travel to certain unique places, however, tourist destinations or places to which a tourist is travelling are considered an important component in tourism systems. In other words, Dickman (1994) points out that the most important single feature is that a destination must have an attraction which can range from a notable historic spot, to a pretty, scenic location, or a place where some special event is taking places.
In addition, pull factors are such influential factors or forces that can motivate tourists’ interest to particular tourist destinations. These factors can potentially encourage or dissuade tourist traffic to any particular destination, which are focused on the supply side of the tourism equation, such as product or destination-based forces (Weaver, 2000). However, attractions, access, accommodation, amenities and activities are such five major requirements of a tourist destination or commonly called as the five ‘A’s requirements. These requirements will play each major role in attracting tourists’ interest to any tourism destination. A destination must have all the requirements to some degree, although they need not be equally in balance, and of course they need not be of the same quality and consistency for each potential destination (Dickman, 1994). Nevertheless, as the attractions are the most important aspect in determining destination for tourists and are still closely linking to other four aspects, they will therefore be more focused in this article.

2. Aceh: its devastating conflict and Tsunami
Aceh is Indonesia’s westernmost province with an estimated population of about 4.2 million (Aceh Statistical Data, 2008). Aceh had been in a worse 30 year armed conflict between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and Indonesia Military (TNI). During the conflict approximately 15.000 people were claimed dead or missing. Besides the conflict, Aceh at last also experienced unprecedented earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 Richter scale and followed by a deadly wave “Tsunami” in last December 2004. The two tragedies have been agonies and resulted in the greater loss of life and tremendous destruction and brought the economy of Aceh into jeopardy with a massive devastation of physical capitals as well as human resources in most developed areas in Aceh.
Aceh now is in turn under a big work of “Redevelopment” through the Process of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction with the support of a signed peace agreement to end up the hostility between the Indonesian Government and Aceh Free Movement (GAM) on August 15th, 2005 in Helsinki. It should be an important momentum to “build together Aceh back better” with sincerity and dignity.

3. Impacts of wars and catastrophe in creating tourist attractions
“War” according to Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language (1982) is defined as “open armed conflict as between nations” or “any active hostility or struggle. As previously mentioned that wars or other catastrophic events can result in both negative and positive effects for people.
The history of wars, battlefields including military cemeteries, fortresses, bunkers, barracks, museums, GAM’s guerrilla tracks and Tsunami sites are among the most popular tourist attractions nowadays. According to Smith (1996) quoted by Weaver (2000) that battlefields are among the popular of all tourists attractions, which points to the irony that the long-term impacts of war on tourism are probably more positive than negative. Nevertheless, it takes some time for those to plan and arrange those historic sites as tourism attraction due to a war image, emotion and psychology of people to the tragic wars or other catastrophic events occurred.
Moreover, visiting historical and Tsunami sites, rather than natural tourism, which are based upon features of the exotic natural environment, for examples, has always been a popular trend nowadays both by domestic and international travellers. Purposes of sightseeing, education for historical study or research on the life-style of important events of bygone era and
engagement of remembrance with the past can be regarded as main motives for those visiting historical and Tsunami sites.
In addition, visitors to historic theme parks, for example, are motivated by an interest in history and desire to learn and discover how people lived in the past. Perceived authenticity as well as the ‘atmosphere’ associated with the historic buildings are also important motives (Foo, A. & Rosetto, A. quoted in Moscardo and Pearce, 1998). However, Pizam A. and Manfield, Y. (1996) suggested that tourism to war-related sites for tourists will also impact on their personality towards pride and social, political and economic aspirations and their fulfilment.

4. Tourism to war and tsunami-related sites
There are many tourism objects to war and catastrophic-related sites. Those are professionally designed in order to meet and attract tourists’ interest. The histories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan and the reunification between West Germany and East Germany are such examples of many other conspicuous creation of historical tourist attraction. Such historical tourist sites, however, have attracted tourists’ interest in order to perceive how the two cities were tragically bombarded by the US Armies, which claimed hundred thousands of people’ lives and heavily devastated all vital infrastructure.
The history of “the Berlin Wall” has also been famous. The history began with the fall of “the Berlin Wall”, which has separated the German people between the two countries for decades. Psychologically, the devastation and reunification become the most historic and momentous events among the people. No wonder, many foreign tourists prioritize to visit such historic sites and then others, such as Plotzensee Memorial and Concentration Camps in Germany.
Similarly, in Indonesia, Lubang Buaya or Crocodile Holes is one of many other famous historical sites. It has become a popular historical attraction for tourists. The true story began with the dramatic tortures and killings of the six Indonesian army generals and one-army officers in an abortive communist inspired by coup d'etat on October 1, 1965. The centerpiece is the Pancasila Monument with statues of the seven heroes, standing near the old well in which their bodies were thrown after having sadistically been tortured and executed. Thus, the monument and a museum depicting the catastrophic events were established for their honors.
The historic sites of the former war in the former Yugoslavia are also fascinating. Many foreign tourists have already traveled to Sarajevo. Most travels are motivated to gaze at sites of some of the worst aspects of the conflicts including the tours incorporated with the notorious sniper alley (the main street where many civilians were killed) and the sites of the slaughter of twenty-one persons next to the Catholic Cathedral. The ruined Olympic stadium, the battle-scared mosque and other tragic reminders of the wars are such other famous historic sites for tourist destination (Lennon and Foley, 2000).
Further, Aceh with its new phenomenon “post armed conflict and tsunami tragedy” with an estimated people of about 200 000 was claimed dead or missing, not mention a massive devastation of physical capitals, has been a new, famous tourist destination in the westernmost Indonesia. Most tourists travelled to Aceh are similarly motivated to perceived people’s emotional feeling during the armed conflict and catastrophe, to learn how the people survived and their resilience when they lost their family and wealth and to view the remains of destruction by the tsunami as well as to visit the mass graves where thousands of dead bodied were buried and other famous war and tsunami-related sites that are worth to be visiting especially by young generation for education purposes.

5. Conclusions
Wars and catastrophes arguably connote negative meanings towards human civilizations and have resulted in much misery, loss and devastation for people throughout history. The First and Second World Wars, earthquakes and Tsunami in Aceh, for example, have been unforgettable catastrophic memories along human civilization with the worst impact of wars. Nevertheless, a large number of sites associated with war, genocide, assassination and other tragic events have become famous historic tourist destinations.
More importantly, the development of a range of infrastructures and supporting tourism industry to support the war and tsunami-related sites is considerably important that can motivate tourists’ interest to the destinations. Thus, wars will give positive impacts in promoting tourism industry by creating and maintaining dramatic remainders of post-war and catastrophic sites for tourists’ visits.

Reference and bibliography
Dickman, S. (1994) Tourism: An Introductory Text, 2nd ed.Edward Arnold Australia.
Foo, Lee Mei & Rosetto, A. (1998) Cultural Tourism in Australia: Characteristics and Motivations, Bureau of Tourism Research, Canberra.
Inskeep, E. (1991) Tourism Planning: An Integrated and Sustainable Development Approach, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Leiper, N. (1995) Tourism Management, RMIT Press, Collingwood.
Lennon, J & Foley, M. (2000) Dark Tourism: The Attraction of Death and Disaster, York Road, London.
Pizam A. and Manfield, Y. (1996) Tourism, Crime and International Security Issues, Chichester: Wiley.
Thomson, A. (1998) Tourism: A Ticket to the 21st Century, Commonwealth of Australia, Office of National Tourism, Canberra.
Weaver, D. & Oppermann, M. (2000), Tourism Management, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane.
Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language (1982),2nd College Edition, New York Academic Research Library, March 15, 2008.
- An AusAID-based master graduate in Tourism Industrial Management of the Victoria University of Technology (VUT), Melbourne, Australia (2001-2003),
- KOICA’s Alumni of Capacity Building Training on SME’s Entrepreneurship, Seoul, South Korea (2006),
- An Australian Leadership Award (ALA) Fellowship Winner in the “Economic Management Capacity Building Program for Aceh Administrators of the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia (2007)
- Participant of Capacity Building Training on Modern Hotel Management Seminar of Harbin University of Commerce HUC, China, September (2008),
- Director for Tourism Promotion, Marketing Department, Aceh Tourism and Culture Agency, Indonesia (2008 - Presently),
- Contact Person Number: Hp: +62 651 8126907873 Email:

Thursday, 15 January 2009

My Appreciation to the People’s Republic of China*

The invitation letter delivered by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Indonesia for attending a Training Course on “Modern Hotel Management” in Ha`erbin City, Hailongjiang Province, China was a real, valuable beginning of my experience to travel to China. It is such a dream for everyone to be invited and travel overseas. But who knows, my long dream to visit China now becomes true and no wonders, I am so delighted to describe the whole story of my visit to China.
The training course on “Modern Hotel Management“ conducted at Ha`erbin University of Commerce (HUC) as one of the ten key universities in the Ha`erbin City, Hailongjiang Province in Northeast China, does not only broaden my knowledge on contemporary hotel management perspectives from my Chinese teachers, but also provides me a significant experience to closely learn about the people as well as the Chinese cultures towards their rapid economic development in Asia nowadays, not to mention, their success of 2008 Olympic Game and the 2008 Paralympics Game that have taken place. Most people praised the success of the game, whereas the Beijing Olympic Game have changed the Olympic tradition in many positive ways, considering the high level competition, in which more than 30 world records were rewritten, the new level of sport venues with the “Bird’s Nest” and “Water Cube”, the dramatic opening and closing with highest artistic standards. Interestingly, even though I myself did not have a chance to watch the Olympic Game but I learn that the effect of the Games has gone far beyond the Game itself. All in all, the games have changed China and China has changed the Games.
However, my experience did not stop here and learnt only the perspectives of the people and Chinese cultures during my days in China. But, it was all beyond my expectation! The training had provided me a further chance to meet up and get along closer with 55 distinguished participants from more than 33 countries worldwide. No matters we were in different cultures, religions, colors and beliefs, our mutual commitment was how to learn from each other on global issues on “Tourism and Hospitality Industry”. Having met and got along with them was such as a happiness, pride and value addition towards my unforgettable life experience. In other words, our meeting has helped deepen our mutual understanding among nations and various cultures and eventually contribute to the global peace development of the world and make the world become a global village.
I always hope that the knowledge I learnt and the partnership I built among the Chinese teachers and friends and participants from different countries will be a significant contribution to my country when I return in order to help build my country Indonesia in general and my Province Aceh in particular in the economic development. I will always remember your kind service and hospitality my all Chinese friends who made me aware of loving and respecting each other and also my all colleagues from different countries who have made me proud of you all. I will always share the story with my family and friends in my country about our lovely and funny days in China. Thanks indeed for the People’s Republic of China for making this meeting successful and fruitful. I look forwards to returning to China as Harbin is now my second home. Ni hao!

Participant from Aceh – Indonesia*

Rahmadhani, M. Business
Director for Tourism Promotion