INFEST: Innovative Indigenous Flores Ecotourism for Sustainable Trade

Since

Tourism in Flores will be enhanced by stronger capacity of local village based tourism institutions, which is expected to deliver high quality products and services, as well as to better plan the future development of these indigenous treasure. Innovative Indigenous Flores Ecotourism for Sustainable Trade (INFEST) is a 3-year project managed by Indecon Foundation and will work together with local communities in selected villages in Waerebo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara. INFEST project is co-financed by the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development (NSA-LA) program from the European Union.

INFEST project is a joint collaboration of the Indonesian Ecotourism Network (Indecon) Foundation and its partners – Benih Matahari Foundation and Asosiasi Pekerja Pariwisata Indonesia (ASPPI). It will be implemented in five village areas (Cunca Wulang, Liang Ndara, Tado, Wae Rebo, Bena) and cities in Flores Island (Labuan Bajo and Bajawa).Project activities during the period of 2013-2015 will include

i.       Capacity building on local ecotourism guiding services;

ii.       Development of high quality ecotourism products in target villages;

iii.       Development of pricing and joint marketing strategies;

iv.       Establishment of tourism organizations and its administration system in participating target villages;

v.       Development of village tourism plan aimed at fostering the implementation of CSR and nationwide pro-poor economic development program.

These local communities also realize the importance of working together to keep this treasure. Bapak Mus, a coffee planter from Manggarai said during our discussion on 13th February 2013, “Before, we never knew that so many people would fall in love with our home and land. However, we also realize that we cannot do these alone. We need others to also protect, preserve, and support these treasures which many people love in order to sustain…”

INFEST underlines the importance of grass root approach. Initiatives in INFEST project will be conducted hand-in-hand with village communities, tourism stakeholders, and local government; as the proposed action aims to support actions of Non-state actors (NSA) including local communities, local  tourism bussineses, and local government, to engage in sustainable tourism (as one of local economic development sectors) and to improve livelihood and contribute to poverty reduction in the region. It also aim to strengthen capacity of these non-state actors to actively support its local government in policy dialogue, decision making process, and implementing development actions, both in the villages and the region.