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The Contribution of Women to the Growth of Sumba Tourism

“In addition to having stunning natural resources, the Ratenggaro Traditional Village also produces handicrafts including weaving, sculpture, and other mementos that have been passed down through the generations. Mariana Karere, a women’s representative who is actively promoting tourism in Maliti Bondo Ate Village, specifically Ratenggaro Traditional Village (KAR), Southwest Sumba Regency, claimed that visitors “love them all” (SBD).

Since the beginning of 2019, Meri, as she is known, has taken part in a two-year program for the promotion of village tourism run by the Institute of Research and Empowerment (IRE). Sumba Tourism Village, or Strengthening Villages in Developing Tourism Based on Natural Resources and Local Culture, is a project funded by the William & Lily Foundation (WLF). Through this program, two communities in Southwest.

Meri claims that the general people is aware of KAR’s tourism potential. Its natural beauty is sufficient to draw tourists. But regrettably, due to a lack of human resources, many things have not been developed. For conventional institutions acting as tourism managers, access to information and capacity building are still restricted.

“I took part in a training session by IRE for developing local tourism. From there, we came to the conclusion that tourism in our town may be improved by having a cooperative and open-minded local community. It turns out that making people feel welcome and smiling can have an impact on how comfortable rural tourists feel, continued Meri.

The trainings led by IRE were, according to Ryan Peter, the WLF Project Coordinator, intended to help communities strengthen their soft skills in relation to tourism. “The community is encouraged to appreciate local potential, practice welcoming tourists, and comprehend the significance of rules for village management. Currently, the community’s objective is to reach the knowing stage so that it can eventually progress to doing “said Ryan.

Meri started to have dreams of starting a women’s organization that focuses on fostering regional handicrafts, one of which is weaving, as a result of her participation in village tourism development training. This hope has been present ever since the Sumba Tourism Village initiative created the Village-Owned Enterprises (BUMDes) organization. Meri is equally devoted.

“I want to establish a women’s organization to promote tourism on Sumba so that it remains this lovely and natural all the time. My hope is that the group will inspire women to learn how to weave and create other mementos, including mothers with young children. while studying, manage your money. I might be occupied with housework, gardening, or even working and earning money from the sale of my artwork. Other people undoubtedly can, too. I want to start a women’s club so we can all support and learn from one another because of this,” she exclaimed with enthusiasm.

It is hoped that Meri’s tale would motivate women and young people in the area to contribute more to the growth of local tourism. Meri thinks that community synergy will serve as a draw for tourists as well as a powerful capital to entice the participation of many stakeholders from the village level up to the district level in the realization of a tourism village.

Ditulis oleh:
Stella Arya
Communications & Outreach Consultant
William & Lily Foundation