"We (the BPOLBF) have been tasked by the tourism and creative economy minister to gain an understanding of the aspirations of (the general public) regarding what they feel, need, and what sort of problems they face, so that this becomes a channel to collect information needed by policy makers in (resolving) this tariff issue," Shana Fatina, managing director of the Labuan Bajo Flores Authority (BPOLBF), stated here on Friday.
The discussion with tourism players took place at the Labuan Bajo Flores Authority Office, Thursday afternoon, in which the two parties shared inputs and suggestions. Fatina noted that the ministry, through Labuan Bajo Flores Authority, seeks input from tourism players to help improve the concept of sustainable tourism conservation to be implemented in future.
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"In principle, everyone agrees with conservation. They have also conducted conservation within their respective capacities. We should also praise it," she remarked.
Fatina pointed out that the development of conservation-based tourism necessitated collaboration from several sectors, as it encompassed environmental activities, tourism, community empowerment, as well as other aspects. In addition, research and development did not only focus on animal ecosystems but also humans in order to integrate everything into one. Thus, partnership was deemed necessary to bring greater benefits.
The BPOLBF pursued coordination about the fee to the East Nusa Tenggara government, PT Flobamor, as the government-appointed manager of tourism services, including across other ministries. It was done since the issue affected the image of Labuan Bajo. She expects the discussion to serve as an input for policy makers, so they would be able to employ several points of view prior to making decisions.
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The policy of contribution fees as entry requirement to Komodo Island, Padar Island, and the surrounding waters had garnered negative responses from tourism sector players. However, she expects that through the discussion initiative, they would be able to pursue the goal of sustainable tourism, so it would not only be a target of the central government but also be shared by stakeholders of the tourism sector in Labuan Bajo.
"We believe that with this discussion, (we can discover) a common ground. We need that discussion, as it will pull together aspects that were not imagined before, and then, we will find solutions, so that everything can run accordingly, and tourists are happy and want to come back here. Thus, friends, here (we can) recover, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic," Fatina concluded.
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