Borobudur Homestay Village: Towards more Sustainable Community-Based Tourism

Globally acknowledged as the world’s largest Buddhist Monument and one of Indonesia’s most spectacular icons, the imposing Borobudur Temple in the Magelang Regency, Central Java , continuously attracts visitors from across the world. Every year, around 300,000 international tourists and around 4 million domestic tourists come to marvel at the temple’s amazing splendor. Not only do the numbers offer huge possibilities, they also mean plenty of opportunities for the locals to boost their economy through tourism.

Image by: www.facebook.com/kampung-homestay-borobudur

To optimize the opportunities, the local communities in the Village of Ngaran II near the Borobudur Tourism Park have joined hands and cooperated in providing accommodation for the tourists; a business that is usually in the hands of big corporations. The villagers organized and formed an association of homestay operators called ‘Kampung Homestay Borobudur’ or Borobudur Homestay Village grouping 25 members. Altogether they have 75 rooms for rent with relatively cheap rates.

The initiative to form the association was taken in anticipation of the more widespread promotions of Borobudur Temple as a top international tourist destination .For, as opposed to exclusive starred hotels and luxurious resorts, the relatively cheaper homestay room rates would definitely encourage tourists to stay longer in the area.

However, as said by Muslich one of the homestay operators, the expansion of the Borobudur Homestay Village, would need support and guidance from the government, as well as other stakeholders. Muslich further explained that the Borobudur Homestay Village is a vital contribution of the local people to the tourism development in the area. The association is aimed to meet the needs of the growing number of tourists that come to marvel the amazing wonders of Borobudur as well as the surrounding attractions. Most of these tourists want a more authentic cultural experience by interacting with the local people and observe as well as practicing many unique traditions first hand, thus luxurious modern facilities may not be on the top of their priorities.

“The Borobudur Homestays Village is aimed to meet all the need of tourists. We can provide guests with all sorts of needed facilities such as cars, motorcycles, even horse carriages, and more” said Muslich. He added that homestay tariffs range from IDR75,000 to IDR600,000 per room per night. The tariffs for a two-room house range from IDR300,000 to Rp1.5 million depending on the facilities provided. “The facilities can include air conditioners, hot bathing water, fans and television sets” he added.

Currently, the occupancy rate of Borobudur Homestay Village is around 40% at low season and can easily reach 100% during high season such as Year Ends, Vesak Rituals, and school holidays. So far, foreign visitors make up around 70 percent of the guests while domestic guests fill up the 30 percent.

The Regent of Magelang, Zaenal Arifin commented that Borobudur Homestay Village is a perfect form of a community-based tourism development. He further added that during the recent visit to Magelang, President of Republic Indonesia Joko Widodo encouraged the development of community based tourism in Magelang Regency. As a destination that is rapidly growing, Borobudur needs the synergy among all stakeholders to make it sustainable.

Speaking about the benefit of tourism in the area, the regent commented: “The local people must be the first to gain from these potentials. They should not be mere spectators in the success of the tourism industry around Borobudur”.

Head of the Youth, Sports, and Tourism Office of Central Java Province, Urip Sihabuddin added that the development of homestays, the digitalization and expansion of international flights are also needed to back up the policy of the Tourism Ministry to attract more international tourists to the country. He lauded the initiative of the local people in the village of Borobudur in developing homestay accommodation in response to the current trend of tourism which not only emphasizes on leisure but also educative values. Furthermore, he also appreciated that Borobudur Homestay Village has also expanded its reach by establishing a website which allowed broader access.

More information on Borobudur Homestay Village are available at: http://kampunghomestayborobudur.com/

( source : http://www.indonesia.travel/ )

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