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The Challenge of Developing Ecotourism in Ujung Sapar

By Teguh Iman Affandi

After eight months, Hariyono or commonly called Ejhon, opened Ujung Sapar as an ecotourism destination. In its management, several challenges must be addressed by Ejhon.

“It likes jumping to water, the water is already as high as my chest, and I cannot get out anymore,” said Ejhon, a member of Kaoem Telapak, with a laugh.

Hariyono or Ejhon, a member of Kaoem Telapak

The first challenge that Ejhon shared was the lack of team members in management. “For discussion partners, currently none, I need a team,” said Ejhon. To get around this, Ejhon tried to invite youth and villagers, but he realized that the team he had formed was not solid yet.

He is aware that Ujung Sapar Ecotourism is still in the development stage. Therefore, destinations cannot promise anything, including economic stability. “So if you expect to work today and then get money today, that’s not possible,” he said.

The lack of human resources has impacted the schedule of the site. “Currently, the site is only open once a week,” said Ejhon. He said Ujung Sapar Ecotourism is only open on Sundays. “When I thought, if we open every day, the problems are, the land needs recovery, the facilities are not complete. Then I decide, from Monday to Thursday, we clean up the area. On Saturday, we prepare for Sunday,” Ejhon explained.

The residents enjoy their visiting to Ujung Sapar Ecotourism

The next issue is related to permits. Until now, Ejhon has not withdrawn tickets fee to visitors for fear of local officials questioning him about his permits. “If I launch too soon, I am afraid the officials will question my permits, ‘How dare you withdraw the levy or ticket, where is the permit?'” Ejhon said.

The absence of a permit makes Ejhon lose one income. During the last eight months of opening Ujung Sapar Ecotourism, he admitted that he had not seen significant profits. Ejhon gets his income from camping equipment rental services, for example, sleeping bags, tents, and hammocks.

Ujung Sapar Ecotourism from above

The last issue is strategic planning, how to manage the ecotourism issue. Regarding determining the concept of ecotourism. Then the strategy to keep the business running. Ejhon is grateful to hear that Kaoem Telapak’s colleagues support him. The endorsement makes him excited again to manage the Ujung Sapar Ecotourism. “I need help from friends who understand ecotourism,” said Ejhon.

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