Tag Archives: Responsible Tourism

Eco Rustic | Rimba Orang Utan Eco Lodge, Sekonyer River, Kumai, Central Borneo

By Dian Hasan | July 21, 2010


The “Klotok” traditional wooden boat that meanders through the calm river with nothing but the lush rainforest jungle accompanied by the soundtrack of nature.

Arguably, Indonesia’s tourism industry might not be as well developed as some of her Southeast Asian neighbors, and that is of course not due to a lack of attractions. After all, Indonesia is home to Bali, her crown jewel tourism magnet. Indonesia’s entire modern tourism industry seemingly is centered on Bali, leaving other areas relatively undeveloped.

In the past, such condition may have been considered to be behind the times, but in the advent of raised awareness regarding sustainability and eco-consciousness, this is Indonesia’s blessing. For this vast archipelago, with the world’s second richest rainforest biodiversity after the Amazonis most probably the world’s last eden! An endangered eden that is fast disappearing. And it’s up to us all to strive for a sustainable development that champions economic progress without compromising natural resources for future generations.

It is outside Bali, in the unexplored corners of Sumatra, Borneo and Eastern Indonesia, where Indonesia’s greatest gift to mankind is being conserved – her fauna and flora. The Komodo “dragon” monitor lizardOrangutanJava RhinoSumatran ElephantRhino and Tiger are just some of the more famous residents – whose habitat can only be found in Indonesia. The fate and survival of these endangered species depend on the global community coming together with the right initiatives.

Rimba Lodge’s main bungalow where Julia Roberts stayed while filming the 1993 PBS Documentary: “In the Wild: Orangutans with Julia Roberts”


Rimba Lodge, the perfect gathering place, where man and primate interact.

Ecotourism is one way, in which these efforts are executed, raising awareness of the animals’ plight, and helping generate much-needed revenue to help with conservation efforts, while practicing responsible tourism.

Eco Lodges Indonesia (ELI) is a pioneering, ecotourism provider operating in an emerging economy, with a focus on biodiversity conservation and enhancement of local community livelihoods. Eco Lodges Indonesia runs four ecolodges in Indonesia’s major National Parks, and partakes in the protection of these endangered animals. The other objective is to improve the livelihoods of local communities where the properties are located.

Eco Lodges Indonesia is one of the first to pursue international sustainable tourism certification in Indonesia, and is committed to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals through their ecotourism investments and operations.

Rimba Orang Utan Eco Lodge, Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan

Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge is located adjacent to Tanjung Puting National Park and on the edge of the Sekonyer river in Kalimantan (Borneo).

The Lodge is only accessible by boat from the port of Kumai. Arriving at the Lodge jetty in the middle of the forest is an unforgettable experience, likened to expeditions deep in Africa or Brazilian Amazon. The jetty connects to all rooms, the reception area, office and restaurant by a series of covered boardwalks.

The Lodge provides a base from which you can explore the surrounding rainforest and Tanjung Puting National Park. Take a walk from your room along the bird walk, hear the plaintive cry of Gibbons, early birdsong and the resident Macaque monkey troop from your comfortable room, set right on the edge of the gently flowing Sekonyer river.

From the Lodge you travel by klotok (wooden boats)  upstream, surrounded by rainforest, to a number of feeding stations in the Tanjung Puting National Park, the most famous of which is Camp Leakey, established in 1971 by Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas (founder of Orangutan Foundation International), a student of Professor Louis Leakey, together with Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey. Dr Gladikas is considered as the world’s leading authority on the study of Orangutans.

As you walk through the rainforest you often see orangutans and at Camp Leakey you sometimes see gibbons as well as many butterflies and birds. At the feeding stations you’ll be able to see these amazing primates up close. There are also opportunities to take a night safari to see tarsiers, glowing mushrooms, fireflies and perhaps owls. Other wildlife to be seen in the area are 9 other primate species, crocodiles, butterflies and rare birds such as Storms stork.

The lodge has 35 rooms: 15 Emerald, 6 Sapphire and 14 Ruby. All rooms have mosquito drapes and repellent, fans, double or twin beds, western shower and toilets. Emerald rooms have air conditioning and hot water.


Leeping Proboscis monkeys greet visitors enroute to Rimba Lodge. Locals call them “Monyet Belanda (Dutchman Monkey” for its long nose. Continue reading

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Eco Rustic | Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge, Komodo Island, East Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 15, 2010


Komodo, the world’s largest monitor lizard, can grow up to 3m long. One dragon can bring down a buffalo with a single, poisonous bite.  They can run up to 18 km an hour, and have anything for dinner (incl. humans! Tourists beware! There have been missing tourists in the past).

Arguably, Indonesia’s tourism industry might not be as well developed as some of her Southeast Asian neighbors, and that is of course not due to a lack of attractions. After all, Indonesia is home to Bali, her crown jewel tourism magnet. Indonesia’s entire modern tourism industry seemingly is centered on Bali, leaving other areas relatively undeveloped.

In the past, such condition may have been considered to be behind the times, but in the advent of raised awareness regarding sustainability and eco-consciousness, this is Indonesia’s blessing. For this vast archipelago, with the world’s second richest rainforest biodiversity after the Amazonis most probably the world’s last eden! An endangered eden that is fast disappearing. And it’s up to us all to strive for a sustainable development that champions economic progress without compromising natural resources for future generations.

It is outside Bali, in the unexplored corners of Sumatra, Borneo and Eastern Indonesia, where Indonesia’s greatest gift to mankind is being conserved – her fauna and flora. The Komodo “dragon” monitor lizardOrangutanJava RhinoSumatran Elephant, Rhino and Tiger are just some of the more famous residents – whose habitat can only be found in Indonesia. The fate and survival of these endangered species depend on the global community coming together with the right initiatives.

And while Indonesia is not immune from a tug-o-war between economic growth and conservation and sustainable efforts, it is a balancing act that Indonesia is starting to take seriously, with the help of various international organizations.

Ecotourism is one way, in which these efforts are executed, raising awareness of the animals’ plight, and helping generate much-needed revenue to help with conservation efforts, while practicing responsible tourism.

Eco Lodges Indonesia (ELI) is a pioneering, ecotourism provider operating in an emerging economy, with a focus on biodiversity conservation and enhancement of local community livelihoods. Eco Lodges Indonesia runs four ecolodges in Indonesia’s major National Parks, and partakes in the protection of these endangered animals. The other objective is to improve the livelihoods of local communities where the properties are located.

Eco Lodges Indonesia is one of the first to pursue international sustainable tourism certification in Indonesia, and is committed to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals through their ecotourism investments and operations.

Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge, Komodo National Park, Komodo Island, East Indonesia

Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge is situated near Labuan Bajo on Flores Island. It is the only hotel of its type close to the Komodo National Park, a World Heritage Site.

Alternative accommodation is available in simple wooden beach bungalows on Seraya Island and Kanawa Island,  just off of Komodo Island. Both of them are charming, offering a back-to-nature getaway, although food options at the latter is rather limited.

Bajo Komodo Eco Lodge combines good accommodation, service and cuisine with the ideal opportunity to view the Komodo Dragon giant monitor lizard, and dive, snorkel or view birds in one of the most beautiful coral and island areas on the globe. The Lodge has mosquito proof rooms with AC, en-suite bathrooms with hot water, IDD phone and a desk with chairs.

It also has a swimming pool, bar and restaurant here you can view magnificent sunsets. The staff are all local people giving it a special atmosphere. Room rates include airport or port transfers, breakfast and daily laundry. We also have a vehicle hire service for local or Trans Flores safaris.

The lodge features the island’s best amenities, including: 8 rooms with AC, fan, hot water and phone, complimentary breakfast, swimming pool, free airport transfers, free daily laundry, a restaurant serving three meals per day at reasonable prices, a bar, bottled drinking water supplied.

Also includes information, books and binoculars for bird and butterfly watching, affordable vehicle hire with modern vehicles and experienced drivers, masks/snorkels for hire (no fins), storage area for diving gear, tour information to Komodo National Park, boat pick-up from the beach for snorkelling, diving or river safari.

Eco Lodge Indonesia operates all their properties in accordance to the “six pillars of eco tourism” as suggested by The University of Western Sydney:

1. Depends on the natural environment
2. Ecologically sustainable
3. Proven to contribute to conservation
4. Features an environmental training program
5. Incorporates cultural considerations
6. Provides a net economic return to the local community. Continue reading

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Eco Rustic | Satwa Elephant Lodge, Way Kambas National Park, Lampung, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 15, 2010


The majestic Sumatran elephants and their Mahouts in Way Kambas National Park, Lampung. Not as common a sight as their cousins in Thailand, but Indonesia is the last bastion of elephants in South East Asia (2000: estimated that only 2,000 – 2,700 wild elephants remain)

Arguably, Indonesia’s tourism industry might not be as well developed as some of her Southeast Asian neighbors, and that is of course not due to a lack of attractions. After all, Indonesia is home to Bali, her crown jewel tourism magnet. Indonesia’s entire modern tourism industry seemingly is centered on Bali, leaving other areas relatively undeveloped.

In the past, such condition may have been considered to be behind the times, but in the advent of raised awareness regarding sustainability and eco-consciousness, this is Indonesia’s blessing. For this vast archipelago, with the world’s second richest rainforest biodiversity after the Amazonis most probably the world’s last eden! An endangered eden that is fast disappearing. And it’s up to us all to strive for a sustainable development that champions economic progress without compromising natural resources for future generations.

It is outside Bali, in the unexplored corners of Sumatra, Borneo and Eastern Indonesia, where Indonesia’s greatest gift to mankind is being conserved – her fauna and flora. The Komodo “dragon” monitor lizardOrangutanJava RhinoSumatran Elephant, Rhino and Tiger are just some of the more famous residents – whose habitat can only be found in Indonesia. The fate and survival of these endangered species depend on the global community coming together with the right initiatives.

And while Indonesia is not immune from a tug-o-war between economic growth and conservation and sustainable efforts, it is a balancing act that Indonesia is starting to take seriously, with the help of various international organizations.

Ecotourism is one way, in which these efforts are executed, raising awareness of the animals’ plight, and helping generate much-needed revenue to help with conservation efforts, while practicing responsible tourism.

Eco Lodges Indonesia (ELI) is a pioneering, ecotourism provider operating in an emerging economy, with a focus on biodiversity conservation and enhancement of local community livelihoods. Eco Lodges Indonesia runs four  ecolodges in Indonesia’s major National Parks, and partakes in the protection of these endangered animals.  The other objective is to improve the livelihoods of local communities where the properties are located.

Eco Lodges Indonesia is one of the first to pursue international sustainable tourism certification in Indonesia, and is committed to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals through their ecotourism investments and operations.

Satwa Elephant Ecolodge, Way Kambas National Park, Lampung, Sumatra.

Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge is only a short walk of 500 meters from Way Kambas Park entrance, adjoining a pleasant rural village. Employment and locally purchased goods by the Eco Lodge significantly help the village and give the local people the opportunity to improve numerous skills for alternative employment.

Way Kambas National Park covers an area of 130,000 hectares, comprising swamp forest and lowland rain forest, it was designated a reserve in 1972. It has long been known for being home to a significant population of Sumatran elephants, some Sumatran tigers and Malaysian tapirs, and numerous bird species. In the 1990s, it was revealed that the park was also home to a little-known or seen population of around 40 Sumatran rhinos – one of only three surviving populations in Indonesia.

Set in an extensive walled garden full of tropical fruit trees are four cottages each with spacious rooms sleeping up to four people with spring beds, ceiling fans, hot water showers and western toilets. There is a desk and computer power point and a verandah and comfortable chairs. All guest cottages, facilities, some perimeter lighting and office are powered by renewable solar energy. The windows are fully screened. In a delightful open restaurant, meals give a taste of Indonesian recipes and ingredients, with a full western breakfast to start the day, or a picnic box.

Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge and all other ELI properties are run in accordance to the “six pillars of eco tourism” as suggested by The University of Western Sydney:

1. Depends on the natural environment
2. Ecologically sustainable
3. Proven to contribute to conservation
4. Features an environmental training program
5. Incorporates cultural considerations
6. Provides a net economic return to the local community. Continue reading

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Eco Heroes ~ Andrew & Marit Miners, Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 12, 2010

In the era where the entire world seems to have been swept by a “Green Fever”, where “eco-consciousness”, “sustainability”, and “giving back” are increasingly entering our daily vocabulary, I thought it’d be interesting to zoom in on the street-level to see first-hand a very special group of people who are “living a green life” across the world.

Now that’s a pretty wide net to cast! So rather than being stuck in a myriad of terminology and areas, arguing about what sustainable, green or eco-oriented means, I’ve chosen to narrow it down to the business world.

One approach that is gaining popularity is the “3Ps” of 1. Profit, 2. People, and 3. Planet, a business model that focuses on doing well (read: be profitable first), and positively impacting the immediate community and environment (read: empower and engage internal customers/staff, all stakeholders and the community, while maintaining low carbon footprint on the environment). This special group of entrepreneurs are now often referred to as Social-Entrepreneurs.

Social entrepreneurship is the work of a social entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change (a social venture). Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur focuses on creating social capital. ~ Wikipedia

And I choose to focus on tourism, specifically on the hospitality and travel industry, to see not only how green efforts are put into practice, but more importantly to meet the special group of people who are making a difference. A small but growing community of men and women from all walks of life and backgrounds, for whom the call to take on a responsible cause is pursued with nothing short of a passion and fervor!

Who:

Andrew Miners (UK) and Marit Miners (Sweden), husband and wife team, founders of Misool Eco Resort. Andrew, avid diver, adventure traveler, and old Asia hand, has been involved in diving operations in the region for over 20 years. Marit, Columbia University anthropologist, diver, and yoga practicioner, met Andrew while vacationing in Thailand in 2000.

What:

Misool Eco Resort, Batbitim Island, in Raja Ampat. Built at the epicenter of Raja Ampat, a remote area previously only accessible through boat-based “Liveaboard” diving expeditions. Misool is one of the few resorts in Raja Ampat area, and considered the chicest with the clearest Responsible Tourism mission.

Where:

Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. An area that forms part of The Coral Triangle, home to the world’s richest marine biodiversity. Raja Ampat is widely regarded as the crown jewel of The Coral Triangle, and ranks as among the world’s best diving areas, boasting the greatest concentration of coral and fish species on earth.


Use of driftwood and other sustainable wood during construction of the resort’s bungalow.


Transporting driftwood and bamboo from neighboring islands, used for building materials [L]. Skilled Javanese carpenters working on a tree trunk slice, turning it into a coffee table.

The arduous construction process, lead by Misool’s own Thorbin Nieman [top left], German-born master carpenter and dive master. The hoisting of wooden beams in place had to take advantage of high tides. Dive Center, under construction [bottom picture].


The finished product. Above water bungalow [L], and coffee table [R]. The very embodiment of eco-chic!


Misool Eco Resort is fashioned from natural building materials, from driftwood to bamboo and rattan [L]. The pristine waters of immediate area around Misool Eco Resort. Photo: Jones/Shimlock [R].


Volunteers Paul and Francis from Darwin, Australia, donating 1,200 glasses to the local community at Misool Eco Resort.


The environs of Misool Eco Resort are picture-postcard perfect. Just another day in paradise!


Side table made of drift wood collected around the Misool Eco Resort area.

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Bali’s Colorful Jukung Race: Supporting Fishing Community in Tulamben

Jukung-Balinese Outrigger Sailboat

Jukung, Balinese outrigger sailboat

On October 11th, fishermen will set off into the wind with multi-hued sails, competing each other for a coveted prize. It’s for precious money to feed their families and serve community needs. Simon Pridmore gives us the history behind the fascinating Jukung Race, and tells how we can help boost the income of the poor.

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Responsible Tourism Attitude at a Higher Altitude ~ 360° Leti, Ladakh, Uttaranchal, India

360º Leti-SCOTT DUNN-11289-cottage-360-leti-leti-india

Shakti has built its own private lodge – called 360° Leti – in Almora, in the northern Indian state of Uttaranchal. With only 4 exclusive cottages that are only open between October and May each year and, 360° Leti, which opened in 2007, consistently rates as one of the world’s top 100 hotels magazine reader surveys.

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Out of Africa… in style ~ The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille, Laikipia, Kenya

By Dian Hasan | August 22, 2009

The Sanctuary of Ol Lentille_Kenya_photo_Paul Joynson-Hicks_3965_file_ol_lentille_lunch-1

Perched on the flanks of a rock kopje or rocky outcrop in the heart of a private conservation area, is The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille, a collection of 4 private, serviced and staffed houses, about 75 km north of Mount Kenya, in the Laikipia region which is an area known for its rich biodiversity and culture. This luxe safari lodge is available either individually or as exclusive use of the whole property. With each comes a personal Masai guide and safari vehicle.

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